Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Avgolemono: Greek Lemon and Rice Soup


It's February and winter is packing her bags already and soon it shall be "until next time" and as I cling on to the last few days of my favourite season, I have been craving some hearty soup. I am not a huge fan of cold soups, I like my soup warm and sumptuous. I wanted to try something new and was on the lookout, naturally. I came across the Avgolemono a couple of days ago and I have had it almost five times already. Today, I had it for lunch, sneaked out some in the evening and again had a huge bowl-full for dinner. It's quite a hit at home too.

This is one hearty soup, lemony and creamy, and loaded with rice and chicken. Some versions also use Orzo pasta, rice shaped pasta quite common in Greek cuisine. It is a meal in itself and I almost imagined myself sitting in a sidewalk cafe nestled in the culinary backstreets of Athens, on a cold winter night preferably in the company of a gorgeous Greek man and a mammoth bowl of Avgolemono — so much for wishful thinking. 

Now there are various versions of this soup and I tried three recipe I liked the most, yes I have cooked it thrice in two days and I am sharing the recipe I liked best. It is crazy how simple this soup is though there are finer things you need to be careful about. Now as the name suggests it has rice in it yes and lemon. And eggs. But to me the most important factor that can bring that edge to this soup is the chicken stock used in it. Now you can always buy stock cubes, I have nothing against them, they are especially useful when you need a quick fix but nothing like a home made chicken stock. I make mine with chicken carcass of course, and some garlic, celery, spring onions, carrots, parsley,salt and pepper. For dishes like the Avgolemono, which have a few ingredients and are deadly simple, it is the little details that matter.

I can assure you this is a soup that warms the cockles of your heart. 

Now the recipe. I have made slight alterations to the original recipe but it is more or less the same.

Recipe courtesy http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/avgolemono_soup/ 

 Avgolemono

SERVES 6 

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil  + a dollop of butter (my addition)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 long grain rice
  • 400g boneless chicken, diced
  • Salt to taste 
  • Coarsely ground peppercorns - 1 tbsp (my addition)
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 eggs
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

Method

Heat the olive oil and butter in a pot and saute the onions  until they are soft and translucent

Add the rice and stir for a minute. Now add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

Toss in the diced chicken and cook until rice is done and chicken is tender. It should take the same time, more or less.

Adjust seasoning. Stir in the coarsely ground pepper too.


Now in a separate bowl whisk the eggs and add the lemon juice to the egg while whisking continuously (I had made this step rather dramatic)

Now comes the tricky part. If you add eggs to the hot soup the chances are it will curdle. So the trick is to temper  the eggs before you add the egg-lemon mixture to the soup. So what you have to do is add ladle in, slowly of course, some of the hot chicken broth into the the egg-lemon mixture and all the while keep whisking it vigorously.Do it twice at least and then you can pour in as much broth as you want.

Finally, take the soup off the heat and pour in the hot egg-lemon mixture while whisking the soup continuously.

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately

PS : NOW, STARTING TOMORROW FEBRUARY 6, 2014 and till FEBRUARY 11, 2014 we'll celebrate love on allthatsdelicious.blogspot.in with dishes that'll send the love quotient soaring in a very very SEXY way. So, stay tuned. Cheers.

2 comments:

  1. Your recipes are truly so delightful, Priyadarshini! Love the little stories you weave into them, too. This one I must try...quite intriguing..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sangeeta, Do tell me how it turns out

      Delete