This is the traditional recipe made in Greek kitchens. The basic Avgolemono (broth and lemon) can be varied for other similar Greek recipes. Serve with bread. Bread bits can be dipped into the soup. The soup will last in the fridge for a number of days or can be frozen. To reheat, place in microwave or heat on the stove.

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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified

Directions

  • Rinse the chicken and remove any organs that may be inside. Place in a pot large enough for the chicken to move around, but not too much room or the broth will be watery. Add the chicken neck if that is included with your chicken. Fill with enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Cover and bring to a boil. When boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, skimming the fat from the top as it collects.

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  • When the chicken is done, the meat should pull from the bones easily. Transfer the bird to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Add the rice, and season the broth with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 20 more minutes, or until rice is tender.

  • Whisk the eggs with the lemon juice in a bowl. When the rice is done, turn off the heat. Whisk one ladle full of hot broth into the eggs slowly so the eggs do not curdle. Gradually whisk in more broth until the egg mixture is heated. Then pour the egg mixture back into the pot, whisking briskly. The result should be a creamy, cloudy looking soup. You may season with additional salt, pepper or lemon juice at this point.

  • You may add pieces of chicken to the soup before serving or serve soup with salted chicken on the side.

Cook's Note:

The soup should be filling, salty, and slightly sour, so I use 2 juicy lemons--although the flavor may be too sour for non-Greeks. Grocery store lemons tend to not be as juicy as organic lemons or lemons from a Hispanic/Mexican grocery store.

Nutrition Facts

321 calories; 17.4 g total fat; 154 mg cholesterol; 94 mg sodium. 16.4 g carbohydrates; 25.6 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (99)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/23/2008
This was really good and just what I was looking for. The only thing that I did differently is when I bolied my chicken I added onion powder garlic powder and some salt. I also added just a small pinch of Oregano to the soup when I added in the salt & pepper. Read More
(104)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
03/30/2009
I love lemon with chicken and I think I make killer chicken stock from scratch that has tons of flavor..& I love trying new things! I've never had Greek lemon soup before and I guess it's just not my thing. Maybe it's an acquired taste? I kept wanting to I don't know....add salt? (no it was salted right)....add cream? (no the egg makes it creamy) The only way I could enjoy the meal was to take a bite of something else to break it up a little. There's something about how the egg and the strong lemon taste overwhelm your mouth that made me feel like I was eating something from another culture that I would have had to grow up with to love. (like hagus or eskimo ice cream) If you have a raw chicken staring at you asking "So whaddaya wanna do?"....find another recipe. If you like greek lemon soup...it had plenty of flavor. Read More
(18)
131 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 99
  • 4 star values: 22
  • 3 star values: 7
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
01/23/2008
This was really good and just what I was looking for. The only thing that I did differently is when I bolied my chicken I added onion powder garlic powder and some salt. I also added just a small pinch of Oregano to the soup when I added in the salt & pepper. Read More
(104)
Rating: 5 stars
01/23/2008
This was really good and just what I was looking for. The only thing that I did differently is when I bolied my chicken I added onion powder garlic powder and some salt. I also added just a small pinch of Oregano to the soup when I added in the salt & pepper. Read More
(104)
Rating: 5 stars
12/12/2007
This is my all time favorite soup. It's exactly the way my yiayia taught me how to make it when I was a young girl. It's now my nephew's favorite soup and he asks for it all the time. I wouldn't change a thing. If you are short on time use a pressure cooker to cook the chicken. I also use chicken leg quarters and skim the fat that rises to the top. Read More
(93)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/14/2007
This is one of my favorites. My guests have be thrilled when I've served this refreshing soup! A few tips - to get more juice from the lemons microwave them whole for 10 seconds before squeezing them. I always garnish this soup with nutmeg. You also can cook and shred boneless chicken breasts if that's more convenient. Read More
(68)
Rating: 5 stars
06/26/2009
My favorite soup! But if you really want to do it right...use orzo instead of rice. My mom used to make it both ways and the orzo way is much better IMHO. Read More
(54)
Rating: 5 stars
04/06/2011
This is exactly like my Greek friend Maria makes this soup. It's OK but not quite to my liking. I need stronger flavours. So here's what I did (for those that need that extra punch in a soup). I used a whole chicken put it in a large pot added just enough water to cover the chicken (a bit of the chicken was still above the water. This makes a stronger tasting broth). I added 3 carrots 3 stalks of celery a whole onion a few garlic cloves a parsnip salt AND 4 packets of chicken bouillion. I simmered on low about 1 1/2 hours. Strained the broth chopped up the chicken saved the cooked veggies to eat later and followed the recipe for the rest. It's such a refeshingly clear tasting soup. Never be afraid to alter a recipe. What's posted is one person's taste buds speaking and we're all different. Taste as you go... that's my rule. Enjoy. I'd suggest you cut back on the lemon to half then taste and add more if you need it. Read More
(47)
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Rating: 4 stars
08/26/2009
It's not the best Avgolemono I've ever had but it's the best I've ever made. There is a Greek restaurant in my city that has the best avgolemono soup but I wanted to try to make it because it's so easy and cheap to make. It only cost me 10.00 to make this and that included bread for dipping in the soup plus it made a lot so I have some in my freezer. Next time I'll add more rice and more lemon. I'll also add carrot onion and celery to the water when boiling the chicken to made more of a broth. Read More
(27)
Rating: 5 stars
02/16/2010
My mom boils chicken for 2 hours. Also at the step of beating the eggs with lemon juice add 1.5 heaping TBSP of cornstarch. Beat with lemon juice and eggs. Continue with the ladeling to heat up the egg and lemon mix. My mom also adds just a bit more lemon for my husband. Read More
(23)
Rating: 2 stars
03/30/2009
I love lemon with chicken and I think I make killer chicken stock from scratch that has tons of flavor..& I love trying new things! I've never had Greek lemon soup before and I guess it's just not my thing. Maybe it's an acquired taste? I kept wanting to I don't know....add salt? (no it was salted right)....add cream? (no the egg makes it creamy) The only way I could enjoy the meal was to take a bite of something else to break it up a little. There's something about how the egg and the strong lemon taste overwhelm your mouth that made me feel like I was eating something from another culture that I would have had to grow up with to love. (like hagus or eskimo ice cream) If you have a raw chicken staring at you asking "So whaddaya wanna do?"....find another recipe. If you like greek lemon soup...it had plenty of flavor. Read More
(18)
Rating: 4 stars
03/24/2008
This soup had a very unique taste! I found it difficult to skim all the chicken fat and for that reason I think my soup had too much of an "oily" texture. I loved the lemon taste though and will definitely make this again! I served this at a staff meeting and those brave enough to try something new really enjoyed it! Read More
(10)