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Traditional Greek Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup is flavorful, healthy, thick, and creamy without using any cream. The secret to making a truly authentic Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup is adding egg yolks. Without adding egg yolks, it is not a true Avgolemono Soup. This technique is also how we make our greek lemon sauce that I serve with my stuffed grape leaves.
To make this recipe even easier, I prefer to use rotisserie chicken. I pick up a rotisserie chicken almost every time I go grocery shopping and use it for everything from soups to tacos. If I have chicken leftover, I just shred it and throw it in the freezer to use for a future batch of soup.
Why we use egg to make authentic Avgolomono
When making traditional Greek Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup, it is customary to use beaten whipped egg yolks at the very end to thicken the soup. This is also the same method used to make a delicious avgolemono sauce which is like a creamy flavorful lemon sauce. What I especially love about using egg yolks to thicken soups is the silky smooth creaminess it lends to the dish. This is a great alternative to using flour or starches as a thickener and this same method can be applied to many other soups and dishes. I use this same avgolemono sauce for dishes such as chicken piccata and making a creamy dill sauce for salmon.
How to Make Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup
Making Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup is incredibly easy when you use rotisserie chicken and I love the texture of using shredded chicken in this soup. To start you will saute your onions, garlic, and carrots with a spray of olive oil for about 2-3 minutes. Then you will add the orzo and bay leaves. continue sauteing for about another minute or two which will bring out the flavor from the bay leaves. Next add the chicken broth, seasoning, and bring to a slow boil. Once your soup begins to boil you can reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes.
Orzo cooks very quickly, like pasta, so your veggies and the orzo will cook at the same time. I prefer to cook the soup by simmering it which will take slightly longer than if it was at a boil but it will prevent the orzo and veggies from becoming mushy and give some extra time for all the flavors to combine.
Once your soup is finished, you can turn off the stove and add the shredded chicken. Then in a separate small bowl, you will separate three egg yolks. Whisk your egg yolks and add your fresh squeezed lemon juice. Then in a liquid measuring cup, ladle about a cup of the chicken broth from your soup. Then slowly whisk the broth into your egg yolks. Next, you can pour the entire mixture of lemon, chicken broth, and egg yolks back into your soup and give it a stir. You can add extra salt and pepper to taste.
Making Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup is that easy. After adding your egg yolks you will have a wonderfully silky and creamy soup that is the perfect consistency. By letting the chicken broth cool slightly and slowly whisking it in, you will not have to worry about the eggs cooking. I enjoy serving this soup with extra lemon wedges since we enjoy our soup extra citrusy.
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How to Store Your Soup & Enjoy For Meal Planning
This soup freezes wonderfully and will last in the fridge for a week. I make this soup in large batches and add them to plastic soup containers preportioned. Then the day before I will take it out to defrost and enjoy for an easy lunch or dinner. This type of meal planning makes sure we always have meals available that won’t spoil.
Authentic Greek Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup (Avgolemono)
- 1 cup orzo
- 2 cup Chicken Shredded
- 64 ounce Chicken broth 2 containers
- 1 cup carrots sliced
- ½ cup green onions slice bottom portion
- ¼ cup green onions top green part of onion to use for garnish
- 1 tbsp garlic fresh chopped
- 2 tsp salt fresh cracked is best
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp lemon juice fresh squeezed
- 3 whole egg yolks
- 2 whole bay leaves
- First begin shredding your rotisserie chicken and place aside.
- Then in a large pot on medium heat saute the onions, garlic, and carrots with a light spray of olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Then add your Orzo and bay leaves. Continue sauteing for another 1-2 minutes.
- Next add the chicken broth, seasoning, and bring to a slow boil. Once your soup begins to boil you can reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes.
- Once your soup is finished, you can turn off the burner and add the shredded chicken.
- In a separate small bowl, you will separate three egg yolks. Whisk your egg yolks and add your fresh squeezed lemon juice.
- Then in a liquid measuring cup, ladle about a cup of the chicken broth from your soup. Then slowly whisk the broth into your egg yolks
- Next, pour the entire mixture of lemon, chicken broth, and egg yolks back into your soup and give it a stir. Add extra salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with an extra lemon wedge and sliced green onion.
- Let the cup of chicken broth cool slightly before whisking it into your egg yolks
- Simmering your soup will take about 5 minutes longer but will prevent your vegetables and orzo from becoming mushy
If you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to also check out our Lamb Stuffed Grape Leaves with Avgolemono Sauce which uses the same technique in this recipe!
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