How are you guys today? I’m still quite shellshocked and very upset over what unfolded in Las Vegas. To be honest, I’m at a complete loss and struggling to find ways to self-soothe. I had initially planned to share this recipe later in the month, but yesterday I felt the need to make a batch of this soup because it is the ultimate comfort food. My (very) Greek grandmother made Avgolemono Soup for me as a kid, to the point where when I’m sick now I crave it more than any other remedy. To me, this soup is the ultimate definition of comfort food so I wanted to share it with you guys as we try to make sense of this terrible news.
I don’t have an exact recipe for Yia yia’s Avgolemono Soup because, to her, it’s like second nature. I remember watching her put a little bit of this, a little bit of that into a pot and then in an hour or so, the most delicious, comforting soup imaginable would be put in front of me. She still makes it every time I go back to the east coast to visit! A few years ago, she gave me the pot and the wooden spoon she uses to make the soup, so I always use those pieces when I make this recipe. They feel like family heirlooms and are essential to the flavor of the recipe.
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 3 lbs. chicken breasts and/or thighs (skin removed)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
- 1 cup orzo
- 5 eggs
- the juice of 5 lemons
- salt & pepper to taste
Wash the chicken and set aside. Prepare veggies by chopping them and shredding the carrots. In a large soup pot, combine chicken stock, chicken, onion, celery, and carrots. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover, simmering for about 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the chicken with tongs. If you used chicken with bones, debone and then shred the meat. Put the chicken back into the pot and bring back to a boil, adding the orzo. Simmer for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, whisk the eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Slowly whisk in the lemon juice until the mixture is frothy, then add 3 cups of the hot soup broth 1 cup at a time to the egg mixture while whisking. Whisking during this entire step is essential because it will prevent the egg from curdling. Once all combined, pour the egg mixture into the soup pot and stir well.
Serve with a side of saltine crackers like my Yia yia or some crusty bread (if you’re local to Seattle, definitely check out Chess Bakery delivery for the best fresh bread I’ve everrrr tasted).
My grandmother makes her version of this recipe with a whole chicken, but I usually don’t have that on hand. If you do use a whole chicken, be sure to skim the fat off the top as it boils.
The simple action of sitting at our dining table and eating this lemony, starchy soup helped me to feel more grounded yesterday. I hope this recipes helps to soothe your soul just a little bit, too.
Photography & styling by Jojotastic, recipe adapted from my grandma’s notes. Get more recipes here!