One of my favorite Greek dishes is avgolemono, the classic egg and lemon soup with chicken and rice. It’s comforting yet light and easy enough to whip up on a busy weeknight. The only “cheffy” part of making avgolemono soup is tempering the eggs, which help to thicken the broth to a silky consistency. You need to gradually warm the eggs with some of the hot broth before adding them to the soup so that they don’t scramble (you don’t want egg drop soup!). I make the process easy by whizzing the eggs and lemon juice with some of the rice and broth in a blender; this tempers the eggs and creates a creamy, stable base that never curdles. Before serving, I like to add a splash of heavy cream to the soup – it’s not traditional but I think it balances the tanginess of the lemon. It’s fine to leave it out if you’d like to make the soup a bit lighter and/or more lemony.
What You’ll Need to Make Avgolemono
Place the chicken on a plate and season all over with the salt. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the broth, rice, white pepper, dill sprigs, and bay leaf to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is al dente, about 5 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the chicken.
Cover and let sit until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Discard the dill sprigs and bay leaf. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, let cool slightly, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer about 3/4 cup of the rice to a blender. Add the lemon juice, eggs, and yolks to the blender as well.
Process until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Using a soup ladle, transfer about 3/4 cup of the broth to the blender and process until smooth, 10 seconds (be sure to leave the hole in the lid open and cover with a kitchen towel to allow the steam to escape). Add another ladleful of broth to the blender and process again.
Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pot, stirring until evenly combined. Add the cream and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Do not boil. (The soup will be a bit frothy at this point; don’t worry, the froth will settle as it simmers.) Taste the rice to see if it’s cooked through. If it needs a few more minutes, gently simmer the soup until the rice is cooked.
Right before serving, stir in the chopped dill and the chicken, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. If the soup is too lemony, add more cream. If the soup is too thick, thin it with a bit of water.
Serve immediately, as the soup thickens up quite a bit as it sits.