Thursday, January 28, 2016

Spring Soup — and Chicken-Egg-Lemon Soup, Too

Oh, so healthy and delicious:


I'm not sure who the chef was; probably Lion or Harris, since they are most active in the kitchen. But everyone likes these plastic toys. And no one is more ever-present in the kitchen than Possum but all he does there is demand food, eat food, and borrow food from the others.

Speaking of soup, I found a great recipe for one of my favorites, Chicken Avgolemono, or Greek chicken-egg-lemon soup. For more than 30 years, I enjoyed it at Steve's on Newbury Street. It was our friendly neighborhood Greek restaurant and we had countless lunches and dinners there until it closed two years ago. Since then, I've missed this soup.

I always though one needed secret knowledge or technical skill to make it because of the eggs, but it's not so. There's an easy trick to temper them so they turn creamy instead of curdling. The rest is just as easy, and it's done in 15 minutes.

The first time I made it, I just happened to have every ingredient on hand. Now I make sure I always do. It's thick and satisfying with a fresh, lemony tang. It's creamy but light since there's no cream, butter, or oil. (It's perfect if you have a cold, the flu or a digestive complaint: mild and easy to digest but not bland, and full of protein from chicken, broth, and eggs.)

I don't have a photo of my soup. It disappears too fast. I will try to snap one the next time I make it, which could be as soon as Saturday.

Naturally I tinkered with the original recipe (from the blog "Dinner: A Love Story") because I can't help myself:

Chicken Egg Lemon Soup

Ingredients:

1 quart of chicken broth (I use Trader Joe's organic in a box; no need for homemade)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp Better than Bouillon, chicken flavor (optional but always nice for extra flavor)
1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 eggs
1 cup shredded chicken breast (I use a rotisserie bird or TJ's roasted chicken breast; give some to your cats)
salt, pepper and dill (fresh or dried)

In a medium saucepan bring the broth, water, and Better than Bouillon to a boil. Add the orzo and cook 7 to 9 minutes. Reduce the heat to simmer while you do the next steps.

Whisk the eggs and lemon juice in a medium bowl, blending well. Use a ladle to add about one cup of the hot broth to the egg mixture and whisk to blend. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and stir while it turns thicker and creamy, and the eggs are cooked. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. You won't need much dill and you may not need as much salt as you expect.

Makes four servings. Unless you're as greedy as we are.

2 comments:

  1. PB: Thanks for the soup recipe. I plan to make it tonight, swapping oregano for dill, since I feel about dill as you do about cilantro. But, the spring soup does have a very artistic and simple elegance, and no doubt a bit of crunch as well. Kudos to the chef, whoever it is ;)

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