Greek Chicken & Rice Soup with Lemon Egg Sauce
In Greece, almost every yard is adorned with a lemon tree or two. The abundance of lemons has made this delightfully bright fruit a common ingredient in their culinary traditions. The addition of the Lemon Egg Sauce makes what would otherwise be a heavier meal into a healthier meal without sacrificing substance. To thicken soups, they whisk eggs with lemon juice and warm broth. This sauce is then slowly added to the soup, creating an amazing satin like texture with a bright lemony flavor.
Avgolemono Sauce is more than a soup thickener and flavor enhancer. You can put it on top of anything that is elevated with the flavor of lemon: steamed vegetables, chicken, fish, seafood. In Greece, they top stuffed cabbage rolls with the sauce.
There are as many variations of each of these soups as there are families in Greece. It’s no different than us with our passion for Chicken Noodle Soup the way our mother or grandmother made it. The consistent part is the addition of Avgolemono Sauce at the end. The following recipes are My Greek Soups, adding the additional flavors I thought would make a very lovely Chicken & Rice and Meatball Soup.
I made a chicken stock, but you could take a short cut and use store bought broth and add cooked chicken to it. Even try the Lemon Egg Sauce in any soup you make that is broth based and does not contain any other thickeners (flour, cornstarch, cream).
The trick to making these Greek soups is making sure the sauce is the same temperature as the soup. You want the broth added to your eggs and lemons to be warm (just like the soup). A colder sauce will curdle in your warm soup. Other than that, it’s just a matter of whisking away!