Greek Lemon Chicken Soup is often considered a comfort food, especially during the colder months or when someone is feeling under the weather. The warm and soothing broth, combined with the citrusy notes, makes it a go-to choice for many.
The soup is typically served hot and may be garnished with fresh dill or parsley. It’s not uncommon to find a sprinkle of black pepper on top for added flavour.
The soup is not only delicious but can also be relatively healthy. The chicken provides protein, and the lemon adds a dose of vitamin C. Additionally, the warmth of the soup may help soothe a sore throat or alleviate cold symptoms.
While the basic ingredients remained the same over the years, there are now variations of Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. Some regions are known for adding vegetables like carrots or celery and some don’t.
It is all about choices, and that is the same way you can decide to make changes to the recipe, I am sharing here.
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe
- Large pot
- Wooden spoon or ladle
- Medium Bowl
- Forks or Tongs
- Cutting board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Soup bowls
- Soup ladle
- Grater or Zester (Optional)
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 carrots
- 3 stalks celery
- 2 small chicken breasts (7oz each)
- 8 cups flavorful chicken broth
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 3-4 sprigs thyme
- 3-4 sage leaves
- 1.5 cups orzo
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- Sea salt
- Juice of one whole lemon
- Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
- Peel and dice the carrots.
- Wash and chop the celery.
- Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add chopped onion, garlic, carrots, and celery.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened.
- Add the chicken breasts, flavorful chicken broth, rosemary, thyme, sage leaves, sea salt, and pepper to the pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Lower the heat to medium-low.
- Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken breasts and bay leaves from the pot.
- Add the orzo to the simmering broth.
- Continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes.
- While the orzo is cooking, use two forks to shred the chicken breasts.
- Add the shredded chicken back to the pot.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and lemon juice.
- Take out 1-2 ladles of hot soup from the pot.
- Slowly pour the hot soup over the egg-lemon mixture while whisking continuously to temper the eggs.
- Pour the tempered egg-lemon mixture back into the pot.
- Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes, stirring gently.
- Stir in the frozen peas.
- Add freshly chopped parsley.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper according to taste.
- Ladle the Greek Lemon Chicken Soup into bowls.
- Garnish with additional fresh dill if desired.
- Serve immediately and enjoy your flavorful and comforting Greek Lemon Chicken Soup!
Tips To Prepare Perfect Lemon Chicken Soup
While the recipe itself is a culinary masterpiece, achieving perfection requires a keen eye for detail and a touch of culinary finesse.
- Proper Vegetable Sautéing: Ensure the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery are sautéed until softened. This step develops the foundational flavours of the soup.
- Chicken Selection: Opt for boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a leaner option. Shred the chicken finely for a more even distribution throughout the soup.
- Tempering the Egg-Lemon Mixture: To prevent curdling when adding the egg-lemon mixture, gradually introduce hot soup to the mixture while whisking continuously. This process, called tempering, helps blend the ingredients smoothly.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for a bright and zesty flavour. Adjust the amount based on personal taste preferences for a perfect balance of acidity.
- Cook Orzo Separately: Cooking the orzo separately and adding it toward the end prevents it from becoming mushy and helps maintain its distinct texture.
- Adjust Seasoning: Taste the soup before serving and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. This ensures a well-balanced and savoury final result.
- Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over the soup just before serving. This not only adds a pop of colour but also enhances the overall freshness.
What To Have With Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
1. Crusty Bread or Pita
There’s something magical about dipping a piece of crusty bread or warm pita into a bowl of Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. The combination of the soup’s citrusy brightness and the hearty texture of the bread creates a delightful contrast that’s both satisfying and comforting.
2. Greek Salad
Enhance the Mediterranean experience by serving a refreshing Greek salad alongside your soup. The crisp freshness of cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese complements the warmth of the soup, creating a well-balanced and nutritious meal.
3. Hummus and Tzatziki
Expand your taste horizons by adding small bowls of hummus and tzatziki to your table. The creamy, garlicky goodness of these dips adds an extra layer of flavour that pairs wonderfully with the lemony notes of the soup.
4. Grilled Chicken Skewers
For a protein-packed meal, consider serving grilled chicken skewers as a side. The charred, smoky flavours of the chicken harmonize with the citrusy brightness of the soup, creating a dynamic and satisfying combination.
5. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables, such as asparagus, bell peppers, or zucchini, provide a savoury and slightly caramelized element that complements the soup’s flavours. The roasted notes add depth to the overall dining experience.
6. Lemon Rice
Elevate your starch game by serving lemon-infused rice on the side. The citrusy rice pairs seamlessly with the soup, offering a textural contrast and an additional burst of lemon flavour.
7. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
For a modern twist, consider a Mediterranean quinoa salad. Packed with protein and vibrant flavours, this salad brings a contemporary touch to your traditional Greek meal.
8. Wine Pairing
Complete your dining experience with a well-chosen wine. A crisp and citrusy white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, can enhance the flavours of the soup without overpowering them.
How Do I Prevent Curdling When Adding the Avgolemono Mixture?
Preventing curdling when adding the Avgolemono mixture to Greek Lemon Chicken Soup is achieved through a technique called tempering. This process involves gradually introducing a small amount of the hot soup to the egg yolk and lemon juice mixture.
Before adding the orzo, take 1-2 ladles of the hot soup and slowly pour it over the Avgolemono mixture while whisking continuously. The steady stream of hot liquid raises the temperature of the egg-lemon mixture without causing it to curdle, ensuring a smooth and velvety texture.
Whisking is a crucial element in preventing curdling. Continuous whisking disperses the heat evenly throughout the Avgolemono mixture, preventing the eggs from scrambling. The goal is to gradually incorporate more hot soup into the mixture until it reaches a temperature that is warm to the touch. Once tempered, the Avgolemono mixture can be safely poured back into the soup pot without the risk of curdling, resulting in a creamy and cohesive consistency in the final dish.