If you want flavor this is the soup you need! This egg-lemon soup is packed with flavor and not calories. Ready in under 30 minutes.
Greek food is one of my favorite cuisines from around the world. Of course, given that most dishes involve lemon juice, garlic and olive oil that probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to you.
With an emphasis on fresh herbs, clean flavors and heart-healthy ingredients like yogurt and walnuts, Greek food is a perfect example of healthy made delicious. Just look at this Greek salad!
Growing up just 3 hours from Chicago, home to one of the nation’s largest Greek populations, I have had countless opportunities to dine on some of the best Greek food around.
In college, I had the pleasure of traveling to Athens, Greece with a few of my classmates. The atmosphere and the food was everything you would expect and more. Salty cheeses, briny olives, juicy lemons, fragrant herbs… it was heaven.
In lieu of traveling to Greece this winter, I decided to create a light and healthy version of avgolemono soup which literally translates to “egg-lemon” soup.
Restaurant versions typically use triple the number of eggs and thicken the broth with a heavy roux full of butter and white flour. You’ll be pleased to learn that my version is completely dairy, gluten-free and requires only 2 eggs.
Frequently asked questions:
How do I temper eggs?
To temper, slowly add about 1-2 tablespoons of a hot liquid to the eggs as you whisk them. This slowly raises the temperature which will prevent you from simply cooking the eggs in the hot liquid which is when you end up with scrambled egg strands. The goal is to slowly bring up the temperature of the eggs without scrambling them.
What is tempering?
Tempering is the method of mixing together two liquids of varying temperatures together without altering the texture. Read: avoiding curdled /scrambled eggs in the broth. You’ve probably heard the term when it comes to chocolate but I use the method when making this Greek egg-lemon soup as well.
How long will this soup keep for?
This Greek egg-lemon soup will last up to 4 days stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Don’t worry – it’s easy!
For added brightness, lemon juice is whisked into the soup as well. I love to serve the soup with extra lemon wedges for people to add more at the table if they wish.
To save time, I love adding shredded rotisserie chicken towards the end of the cooking process. Not only does it add a ton of flavor but it turns this soup into a hearty, protein-packed entree. Serve it with a Greek salad and dinner is done. You can keep the chicken out and leave it vegetarian as well.
Orzo can be substituted for rice if you wish.
Your spoon is waiting.
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)
- 6 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
- ¾ cups uncooked white rice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 2 eggs (whisked a small bowl)
- 8 ounces cooked chicken breast (shredded – rotisserie works well)
- thinly sliced scallions (optional garnish)
- In a large soup pot, bring chicken broth to a boil. Add rice, salt and pepper and simmer until rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Remove one cup of the broth from the pot and pour into a medium bowl. Add corn starch and whisk until dissolved. Pour in lemon juice and whisk once more.
- To temper the eggs, slowly add the whisked eggs to the broth/cornstarch/lemon juice mixture. Whisk constantly so that the eggs gradually come to temperature. Continue until all of the eggs are fully incorporated.
- Pour the warmed egg/broth mixture back into the large soup pot and stir until mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
- Add shredded chicken breasts and cook until heated through. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Serve with sliced scallions if you wish.
Check out more healthy soup recipes on my Pinterest board!
This soup sounds delicious but can it be frozen, please?
Yes, you can. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge when you’re ready to reheat/eat it.
Just whipped this recipe up for lunch and it’s delicious! So comforting and hearty, without all the calories! Will definitely be making this again.
I’m SO glad you enjoyed it! It’s one of my favorites!
DELICIOUS! Lemony, thick, tasty… as good as in the Greek restaurant!!
My whole family loved it! I did 1-1/2 recipe to have leftovers. Was very easy to temper the eggs- thanks for the instructions! Made it with a big Greek salad and pita! YUM!!!
I’m so happy to hear this!!!!
FYI: Greeks would NEVER put cornstarch or butter (read your butter comment) for that matter in Avgolemono soup. Nor would we use Rotisserie chicken, which is too rich tasting for this soup.
The traditional Greek recipe for this soup is light to begin with. It is exactly like your recipe minus the cornstarch. And most Greeks just use the egg yolk.
Thanks Tasha! This was just my quick version of making the soup and I think it happens to taste delicious. The traditional Greek versions that I’ve had are super heavy but that’s just my opinion. Either way I appreciate your feedback!
I come from a long line of Greek chefs. Corn starch was and is still used in our avgolemeno soup. Yes, many just use the egg yoke. We use the whole egg too. Delicious!!
Good to know!!
Hello! I’m from Cyprus and I’ve always made my avgolemono just like your recipe minus the chicken breast. I was wondering, if this is the lightened version what is the heavy one? I would sure like to try that as well!
Hi Christina – The traditional version is often just made with a lot more eggs and sometimes I see a lot of cream soups added and such. I don’t have a traditional recipe but I’m sure you could Google for one!
This is the perfect solution when you’ve got leftover chicken soup and grilled chicken from a traditional Friday night dinner. Was delicious.
Yes exactly!! I’m so glad you loved it!!
OK to use orzo instead of white rice? One of my favorite soups!
Wow, easy and delicious! I used veggie broth, brown rice, arrowroot (didn’t have cornstarch) and didn’t add the chicken. Creamy, light, lemony and really hit the spot! Amazing Liz, THANK YOU!
I’m so thrilled you made this and loved it Angela!!!
I’ve never actually heard of a greek egg soup before, so thanks for the recipe for me to pick apart and learn a bit about it – it both looks and sounds delicious, and I think I’m going to have to try your recipe for it at some point.
Let me know how you like it Rachel!
Yummy! This looks so delicious!
One of my absolute favorite soups! I hope you try it Ashley!
I’m so happy. I used to order this soup at restaurant all of the time and now I can make it at home! It tastes even better the next day! Thank you :)
Oh yum, I can’t wait to have a big bowl of this! So dreamy and comforting :)
You MUST make this!! And if you slip a little butter in it, I won’t tell. ;)
I love avgolemono. Now I’m craving it!
It’s funny – you and me both!!! Let me know if you try it! xo
I always liberally add feta cheese just before serving…not to incorporate into the soup, but to garnish it.
this looks sooo good.. I could take a bowl or two right now.
Me too! Especially in this weather!