DH has a handful of dishes that are all his. These recipes are not written down, so he has to be the one who makes them. Of all these dishes, Avgolemono soup is the family favorite. As soon as the weather started cooling down last week, W started asking for it. I had wanted to roast a chicken, but since DH agreed to write down the recipe for the blog (as well as cook), I relented.
In the late 70s, DH was living in a motor yacht in the New Orleans Municipal Harbor with his friend Mike on Mike’s boat, the Manana. Mike’s Greek girlfriend Theodora taught Mike to make what he called “Greek Soup.” When DH and I started dating, DH set out to recreate Greek Soup for me, and his Avgolemono Soup evolved from there. His version is hearty and homey comfort food at its finest.
Make this soup on a cool and gray Sunday when you don’t have much to do – lots of simmering is required.
To cook the chicken and make stock:
- 1 5 lb. whole chicken with giblets
- 1 stalk celery, quartered
- 2 carrots, cut into thirds
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 8-10 black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3-4 quarts chicken broth
- Meat from one chicken, torn into bite-size chunks (approximately 3 cups)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (reserve juiced lemons)
- 2 cups cooked basmati rice
- Removing the neck and giblets from the chicken. Put the chicken in a large (12-quart) stockpot and cover with cold water (at least 6-8 quarts). Add the vegetables, salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer the chicken for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the chicken stand for another 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and allow it to cool.
- Debone the chicken, and return the bones to the broth.
- Bring the broth back to a simmer for a couple of hours or until it is reduced by half. Strain the broth and discard the solids.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the onions and celery. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender but don’t brown.
- Stir the flour into the onion mixture and cook for a minute more.
- Add the broth and chicken and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Skim the fat and season to taste with salt and pepper(it may need a fair amount of salt since none has been added at this point).
- Add the lemon juice to the egg yolks and whisk until smooth.
- To the simmering soup, stir in the lemon and egg yolk mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Drop in the egg whites about 2 tablespoons at a time while stirring the soup in a circular motion.
- Add the reserved juiced lemons and simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Remove the lemons. Serve the soup with 1/4 cup rice per bowl.