Chicken Rice Soup (Soupa Avgolemono)

This soup is a nostalgic one for me because my mom used to make it all the time when I was a kid (and she still makes her own version).

My mom’s recipe for chicken soup goes something like “add a little bit of this and a lot of that.” Her soup is delicious, but I like to follow a recipe that has exact measurements. So I turned to the internet to try to find one that resembled my mom’s. That’s a tall order but it turns out that I was successful with this recipe.

While this is called “chicken rice soup” there are no chicken pieces in it (which confused my husband because he expected there to actually be chicken in it). It is a Greek dish called avgolemono, which is a chicken broth based soup with rice and lemon. It’s simple but very tasty and comfort food 101.

You whip the egg whites (then add the egg yolks and lemon) before adding them to the soup, which gives the soup a foamy top layer. I have to admit that I wasn’t sure if I liked the foamy feature. Maybe because it doesn’t really add anything to the soup, except to make it look different. Or perhaps because that’s not how my mom did hers because mom’s is always better. It turns out that the foamy layer of the soup grew on me and I did end up approving.

This soup is also great as leftovers. I ate this entire batch over the course of a week for lunch and loved every bite to the end. That’s saying a lot because I get bored with the same leftover meal after day 2 or 3.

I recommend that you have extra fresh lemon handy in case someone wants to add more to their bowl. Also, I highly recommend eating this soup with a good crusty bread and feta cheese because it’s yummy.

Chicken Rice Soup (Soupa Avgolemono) Recipe
(Makes 4 to 6 servings)


  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup rice (White or long grain, I used white rice.)
  • 3 eggs
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Into a large pot on the stove, on High heat, pour the chicken broth and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add the rice, stir, and bring it back to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for about 14 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat once it’s done cooking.
  5. While the rice is cooking, separate the eggs, egg whites into one bowl and yolks in another bowl. You’ll need both, but at different times. Also, egg whites will not whip if there is any yolk in them, so you must add the yolks afterwards, don’t try to skip separating them.
  6. In a large bowl, add the egg whites and beat them until peaks form.
  7. Add the yolks and beat until blended.
  8. Add the lemon juice and stir everything together (switch to a spatula at this point).
  9. Slowly add two ladles full of soup into the egg mixture while stirring at the same time. (Try to get just broth in your ladle for this step, there is no harm if you get rice, it’s just more effective if it’s all liquid. This helps to bring the temperature up so that you don’t end up with cooked egg chunks in the soup.)
  10. Slowly pour the egg and soup mixture back into the pot with the rest of the soup and stir.
  11. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Source: Opaa! Greek Cooking New York Style

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