This is the most popular of Greek soups. The name means 'egg and lemon', the two most important ingredients that produce this light and nourishing soup. Orzo is a Greek rice-shaped pasta, but you can use any small shape. Garnish with fresh lemon slices.

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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Pour the chicken broth into a large saucepan, and bring it to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes.

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  • Beat the eggs until frothy, then add the lemon juice and 1 tablespoons of cold water. Slowly stir in a ladleful of the hot chicken stock, then add one or two more. Be careful not to scramble the eggs!

  • Return this mixture to the pan, off the heat, and stir well. Season with salt and pepper and serve at once, garnished with lemon slices. Do not let the soup boil once the eggs have been added or it will curdle!

Nutrition Facts

150 calories; 8.4 g protein; 21.8 g carbohydrates; 139.5 mg cholesterol; 54.6 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (83)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/10/2007
So yummy and really versatile! I must admit we tweaked this a bit; the orzo can be substituted for rice or any other type of pasta. And we added a lot of garlic to the bunch. Nonetheless the end result turned out pretty tasty a nice alternative to chicken or matzo soup when someone in the family gets sick. Read More
(16)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/10/2009
I live in Greece so I know how to make this soup. It is a delicious soup when made right. All 3 of my children love it. You must cook a whole fresh chicken for the stock. DO substitute rice as this is the traditional way. Make sure you remove the soup pot from the flame before you poor the egg/lemon mixture over it. Otherwise the egg mixture gets clumpy. Also it is great when you add the chicken meat back into the soup. This is how almost everyone eats it here. Read More
(67)
97 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 49
  • 4 star values: 31
  • 3 star values: 9
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 3 stars
03/10/2009
I live in Greece so I know how to make this soup. It is a delicious soup when made right. All 3 of my children love it. You must cook a whole fresh chicken for the stock. DO substitute rice as this is the traditional way. Make sure you remove the soup pot from the flame before you poor the egg/lemon mixture over it. Otherwise the egg mixture gets clumpy. Also it is great when you add the chicken meat back into the soup. This is how almost everyone eats it here. Read More
(67)
Rating: 1 stars
03/16/2007
this recipe is all wrong - it's so important to boil a whole chicken for at least an hour or so. the flavor is so much better. also use the juice of 2 lemons for 3 eggs separate the eggs beat the whites first till stiff then slowly add the lemon juice then add the yolks 1 at a time. I prefer rice to orzo and lots of fresh ground pepper. Read More
(56)
Rating: 5 stars
08/10/2007
So yummy and really versatile! I must admit we tweaked this a bit; the orzo can be substituted for rice or any other type of pasta. And we added a lot of garlic to the bunch. Nonetheless the end result turned out pretty tasty a nice alternative to chicken or matzo soup when someone in the family gets sick. Read More
(16)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/13/2003
Thank you for providing this wonderful recipe on-line. This brings back treasured memories of my Greek grandmother who always said "katse katse" for "sit sit" while she served some of the most wonderful food to her adoring grandchildren. I have all of her recipes for Baklava Dolmades and Tsatsiki but this one I did not have. This was always one of my favorites and now I will have a chance to share it with my family. I remember her using rice instead of pasta so I am going to give that a try too...This is a terrific soup. Read More
(12)
Rating: 4 stars
02/04/2006
Good. Even better with a few tablespoons of white rice that are allowed to cook for a while before adding eggs and lemon. I suspect that those people who tried this and did not like it at all were using a low quality canned chicken broth. Use either a chicken broth in a "parmalat" pack or make your own. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
01/07/2003
Delicious and filling but you can't let it sit out at all. You have to be ready to serve it right away. Read More
(7)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/19/2010
this is exactly what i was hoping for. we had been wanting to try avgolemono at home after we had it at our favorite greek restaurant. only changes i made to this were i used a full 2 quarts of chicken stock upped the orzo to a full cup upped it to 4 eggs upped to 2 lemons (plus the zest of one lemon i really wanted the lemon flavor to shine through) and didn't use the cold water. I also added a mirepoix. Sprinkled kosher salt to taste at the end. Very delicious and satisfying on a cold rainy day. Thank you for sharing. Read More
(7)
Rating: 4 stars
05/24/2011
I did add chicken to this (I know I know - not traditional) and diced carrot as this is the way I've always eaten it. I added a little more orzo to make it heartier. A friend tasted it and said that his Greek Grandmother's was just a HAIR better. I took that as quite the compliment. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
09/13/2003
This soup is absolutely delicious. I varied the recipe somewhat by frying an onion and a clove of garlic in a little olive oil in the pan before adding the stock. I also added halved kumquats to the stock when preparing (removed before adding the egg-lemon mixture) to add an even more zesty flavour. To top it off I added a handful of garden peas when the pasta was tender and a generous sprinkling of fresh parsley to finish. Delicious and highly recommended!! Read More
(7)