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Charting the style of daily life...with the mouth of a sailor.

Fresh Eats: Avgolemono Soup

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I’ve been on a lifelong quest to perfect my own version of a favorite dish, avgolemono soup. I had my first taste of Greek food at a skating competish in Wyandotte, Michigan in the early 80’s, and instantly fell in love, because lemons + feta = perfection. I’ve attempted the cuisine’s signature soup for YEARS with a modicum of success, always trying new versions that are tasty as well as easy, because I’m no Julia Child. My latest attempt was pretty damn good, courtesy of a simple version found on Epicurious, as well as the addition of one preserved lemon, previously made by my husband, which I chopped up and threw in at the very end.

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From Epicurious (with my notes in italics):

YIELD: Makes 4 servings TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

4 cups chicken broth (I used organic)

1/4 cup uncooked orzo, rice or pastina (I used whole grain brown rice)

salt and pepper to taste (I waited until the very end for this, because preserved lemons are very salty)

3 eggs (I used organic eggs)

3 tablespoons lemon juice (I used organic lemons and ended up doing 4 tablespoons but could have done even 5 or 6, because L E M O N S are the best)

PREPARATION

In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Add the orzo/rice/pastina and cook until tender but still al dente, about 7 minutes (20 if using rice). Season with salt and pepper (again, I did this at the end) and reduce heat to low and simmer.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and lemon juice until smooth. Ladle about 1 cup of hot broth into the egg/lemon mixture, then whisk to combine. Add the mixture back to the simmering saucepan and stir until the soup becomes opaque and thickens as the eggs cook, 1 to 2 minutes. Here is where I added the chopped preserved lemons, adding lots of pepper and then a smidge of salt. I also think I could have added 4 more cups of chicken broth at the end, to make it a bit thinner. Also, adding cooked and shredded chicken to this soup makes it more of a meal. In the future, I’ll also add chopped fresh oregano.

If you try this, let me know what you think, and if you feel anything needs to be altered. Also, if you have a different recipe for avgolemono that you love, send it my way! I don’t ever think I’ll stop trying new versions…