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Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo is a delicious, classic soup with a creamy, egg-infused broth and bright lemon flavor!
This week – with some still-cold temperatures outside and a sinus-cold making it’s way through the inside of our house, the only thing I can think about is warm and comforting foods like this Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo.
This delicious Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo is made from a version of our homemade chicken stock recipe – but with ingredients especially tailored to this dish. That specialized and very delicious stock is really the key to giving this soup it’s distinctively light and bright flavor profile!
Making the stock – with chicken, celery, leeks, onions, fresh ginger and other seasonings – is the most time-consuming part about this recipe. But don’t worry, it’s quite simple to make – just throw the ingredients in a stock pot, simmer uncovered for four hours, then strain.
After that, simply cook the orzo pasta right in some of the stock. Then – while constantly whisking – slowly add some beaten eggs to the hot broth. The eggs should immediately cook, forming those distinctive shreds that are a classic part of any Greek lemon soup. Finally, add some cooked chicken, fresh spinach, lemon juice and lemon zest – bring to a boil – and you’re done!
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup is often called Avgolemono which is essentially a Mediterranean sauce made with lemon and eggs. The addition of broth, plus either orzo, rice, couscous or pastina creates a thick and creamy soup with a wonderfully bright, lemony flavor – and today, it’s an iconic Greek dish.
So while I may not be traveling to the warm Greek Isles anytime soon, I can pretend while I’m enjoying this delicious Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo!
This post originally appeared on A Family Feast in March 2015. We’ve updated the photos and made some minor updates to the recipe.
You may also like these other Greek-inspired recipes:
- Greek Rice (Spanakorizo)
- Greek Chicken Roulade
- Greek Salad with Meat
- Greek Spinach with White Beans and Feta
- Greek Salad Dressing
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Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo
Recipe adapted from The New England Soup Factory Cookbook.
For the Stock
- 3–4 pounds chicken parts (legs, thighs, wings, backs, necks, etc)
- 2 large celery stalks with leaves, cut into quarters
- 1 large or two medium leeks, white only cleaned of all sand and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 pound yellow onion quartered
- 1 whole lemon quartered
- 1 knob of ginger (about one ounce)
- 1/2 large bunch fresh flat leaf parsley including stems
- 4 each medium scallions
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 large garlic cloves peeled and smashed
- 1 gallon water
For the Soup
- 2 quarts stock from above
- 1 additional quart chicken stock (carton or canned)
- 1 cup dry orzo
- 4 eggs beaten
- 1 pound cooked chicken (picked from stock)
- Juice from two lemons
- Zest from two lemons
- 12 ounces fresh spinach
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place all stock ingredients into a large pot, bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for four hours.
- Strain stock and hold. You should have about 2 quarts. Separate meat from solids. Set meat aside and discard solids.
- In a large pot, add stock and additional quart of purchased stock for a total of three quarts. Bring to a boil.
- Add orzo and boil on medium for ten minutes.
- Use a wire whip and slowly add beaten eggs while stirring liquid so eggs form shreds in the stock. Cook for 30 seconds then add cooked chicken, lemon juice, lemon zest and fresh spinach. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.
- Adjust seasoning if needed and serve.
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