Thursday, February 19, 2009

Which Came First, the Lemon or the Egg?

I love Greek food. This is one of the first Greek dishes I fell in love with. It is deliciously refreshing and clean tasting; filling, yet not heavy. Packed with Vitamin C and healthy protein, this simple soup is both, one of my comfort foods, and a member of the illustrious cold vanquishing quartet. The other members being Hot and Sour, Matzo Ball, and Chicken Noodle.

Yes, I am speaking of soup.

Not just any soup... but the nectar of the gods - Soupa Avgolemono, or egg-lemon soup. It is one of the quickest and easiest soups to prepare, consisting of only 4 ingredients...... Chicken or Vegetable Stock, Orzo, Eggs and Lemon Juice. Yes, this ambrosia can be prepared in about 10 minutes, depending on how long it takes to bring your stock to a simmer.

I have made this so many times that I have it down to a simple formula.... 16, 1/4, 1, 1. That is for every 16 oz of Chicken or Vegetable Stock you need 1/4 cup of Orzo, 1 egg and 1 lemon (2 TB of Juice). Tonight I was really hungry. Since this was going to be the sum total of my meal, with a side of naked arugula (un-dressed), I decided to double the above formula...

Soupa Avgolemono

32 oz Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Orzo pasta (please no rice, it not only absorbs too much of the stock but flattens the flavor)
2 eggs
Juice of 2 Lemons (4 TB)
optional - 3 oz precooked chicken (Shredded) - This is Kotosoupa AvgoLemono

Bring your stock to a simmer and pour in the orzo and simmer for 9 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk 2 eggs until thoroughly blended.
Slowly, while whisking, add lemon juice in a stream (this prevents curdling)

When the orzo is cooked, condition the eggs by take a couple of ladles of the hot stock and slowly pouring them into the egg mixture, whisking gently to prevent cooking. (Don't go crazy or you will end up with a ton of foam and your soup will be foamy)

When the eggs are sufficiently warmed up, slowly pour them into the stock pot while stirring gently. The soup will turn a lovely creamy yellow color.

Turn the heat to low, as the soup should only remain warm, if it boils or begins to simmer, it will curdle. (If using chicken, add it now)

Ladle into a bowl and serve with lemon slices and a sprig of dill.
Milk and Honey flowing from Amalthea's horns could not taste better than this...


Mo Diva said...

Wow, You just blew me away with that one! that sounds heavenly.

Shane T. Wingerd said...

Thanks Mo! I thought it was the oddest combination when I first heard of it 20 years ago, but it was love at first bite. ;)

Bob said...

I'm intrigued. I'm going to have to try this!