Avgolemeno Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Photo by Bob E.

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 2

    lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast halves, stewed and pulled into bite-sized chunks

  • 2

    large bay leaves

  • 9

    cups chicken broth from stewed chicken, *reserve rest!

  • 3

    Tbl. Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base

  • 1

    Tbl. butter

  • 1 1/2

    cups (1 1/2 - 2 medium) onion, large dice

  • 1 1/2

    cups (3 - 4 ribs) sliced celery

  • 1 1/2

    cups sliced baby carrots, (measure after slicing)

  • 1

    Tbl. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)

  • 1/4

    tsp. coarse ground black pepper

  • 1/4

    tsp. garlic powder

  • 2

    cups orzo pasta

  • 4

    extra-large eggs

  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice from 1 - 2 lemons*, to taste, (*I always use just one large lemon)

  • very finely grated zest from 1 lemon

  • 1

    cup reserved chicken broth from stewed chicken

  • garnish servings with fresh grated romano or parmesan cheese, or crumbled feta cheese if desired

Directions

1. In large stock pot, place chicken breasts. Add lots of water, (about 11-12 cups), and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, skim off foam, and low boil for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from pot to a bowl, cover with a sheet of paper towel, set aside to cool down. Turn pot of broth up to HIGH and bring to a fast, hard boil. Boil, reducing broth, while chopping veggies. 2. Turn off heat. Measure out 9 cups of broth pouring into a second smaller pot, (6 quart), adding bay leaves, too. (I use my large glass measuring pitcher for this.) RESERVE last of broth! 3. Stir in chicken base and add butter, chopped veggies, thyme, pepper and garlic powder. Bring to a low boil and simmer veggies for 8 minutes over medium-low. *Add chicken, tearing off large bite-sized pieces, while veggies are cooking. 4. Add orzo and let simmer until tender, about 8-10 minutes, stirring the first few minutes to keep it from sticking to the bottom. 5. Decrease heat to low to keep the soup hot, but not boiling. 6. Warm 1 cup reserved broth in same glass measuring pitcher until it is very warm, but not boiling. 7. In a bowl, beat the eggs, gradually whisk the lemon juice into the eggs, then gradually whisk the hot broth to the lemon-egg mixture, whisking all the while to keep from cooking the eggs. 8. Slowly add the mixture to the soup, stirring, add lemon zest, and continue to heat and gently stir until the soup is thickened. Do not let the soup come to a boil. 9. Ladle into bowls, and serve with Soft Garlic Breadsticks for dunking if desired.

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