Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Soup)

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Cold days, colder nights, sun setting early. It’s winter. Brrrrr. Yes, I know you Canadians and those enduring the real cold are laughing at me. I’ve become a Texan. Anything below the 50s makes me want to hibernate. I admit it. I’m a wimp.During the winter, I love making soup to warm me up and tend to experiment with different soups.

I refuse to open a can of store bought soup because even the healthier versions are loaded with a ton of sodium. The can I eyeballed the other day had 2 servings each with a day’s worth of sodium… in the Lite variety. I couldn’t bear to pick up the regular version to see what that contained. I’m not watching sodium but I still don’t want to ingest an entire day of it in one meal.

When homemade soup is so easy to put together, there really isn’t a reason to mess with the store bought kind. This soup also has a bonus of being fun to say – avgolemono. Just imagine the faces of your significant other and/or kids when you announce what’s for dinner tonight. Av-GO-leh-mo-NOOOO! Tah dah!

OK, it’s really just a fancy way of say Egg Lemon Soup in Greek, but yeah. Egg lemon soup doesn’t justify a flourishing hand gesture at dinner time. No fun in that. This soup has been touted by the Greeks for centuries as a great cure for what ails you – be it a winter cold, too much ouzo, or just a long day in the freezing weather.

The Greek version uses white rice in the soup, but I decided to be creative and use quinoa instead. If you want to stick with the traditional version, you can use white or brown rice. If you go with brown, you may need to simmer it a little longer before adding the egg to make sure the rice is cooked. Since I always have grilled chicken breasts in the fridge, this soup came together fast and was perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Avgolemono Avgolemono

  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp basil, chopped
  • 12 oz cooked chicken breast, shredded or chopped

Heat a soup pot over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes until the onion softens. Add the broth to the pot and bring to a boil. When the broth is just at a boil, stir in the quinoa. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the quinoa is cooked.

Combine the lemon juice, cornstarch, and egg in a small bowl, and whisk to combine. Slowly pour the egg into the soup, stirring constantly with a whisk. The goal here is to thicken the soup NOT to make scrambled eggs in your soup so don’t skip the whisking while pouring in the egg.

Add the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes to heat the chicken. Ladle into bowls and top with parsley and basil. Makes 4 servings at approximately 241 calories each – 26g protein, 23g carbs, and 5g fat.

Don’t forget the hand flourish as you put the bowls on the table. It definitely adds to the soup eating experience. 😉

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