~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Greek Avgolemono....Lemon and Orzo Soup

Greek Avgolemono....Lemon and Orzo Soup. I came upon this soup recipe some time ago... loved the simplicity of the ingredients used... eventually jotted down the recipe to try later.
I most always have homemade chicken stock in the freezer.... sometimes even turkey stock and beef stock. Chicken stock is much easier for me to make, as I use chicken meat more often in the dishes I make. I've learned years ago to never throw away any bones... not even from baked chicken. And when I have leftover turkey bones( from Thanksgiving, or other occasions), I'll split them up in bags, freeze them, and later pull them out to make stock. I most always have some carrots, onion, garlic, and celery... basic ingredients for making stock. Sometimes I'll toss in a couple of bay leaves to the pot... I much prefer homemade stock, as I can season to my liking.
It's become a ton easier to make the stock ever since I've started using a pressure cooker. What used to take me a couple of hours, now takes me 40 minutes using the pressure cooker. It's really easy to make...not to mention that nothing gets wasted. I simply add the bones with a few vegetables, cover with water, and season it with salt.... then I bring the stock to pressure and cook it while I do other things around the house. When it's done, I'll place the stock in ice cube trays.... for pan sauces.... in small 1 cup containers.... for soups.... and in 2 cup containers.... for risotto and other dishes.
In any case, this soup comes together rather quickly. It's a lighter sort of soup...no cream involved or half-and-half.... not even milk. The white color actually comes from the egg and lemon juice mixture. This soup is a play on the popular chicken noodle soup... except for the tart and fresh taste the lemon juice imparts to the dish....making it a bit different:). The orzo gives the soup extra body as well as great flavor. Actually the soup reminds me just a bit of the Romanian orez cu lapte we used to eat as kids... similar to a rice pudding.
While I kept the soup rather simple, other versions also use chunks of chicken for a heartier version....even cut up vegetables. Sometimes the orzo pasta is substituted with rice...making the soup gluten -free.
It's a lovely soup that can be used as a starter to any meal... I personally like to serve it in smaller portions, just because a little bit goes a long way. If you like, you can serve the soup as an amuse bousche... in espresso cups. But a big bowlful isn't bad either... as it can brighten a dreary and cloudy day:). Perfect for the winter months. Hope you enjoy...

Tip: Make the soup gluten-free, by using rice instead of orzo.

You will need:

4 cups chicken stock, homemade preferred
1/2 cup orzo pasta, or rice*
2 eggs
2-3 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 TBS fresh parsley or dill, chopped
salt/pepper, to taste
* if using rice, add 1 cup extra stock

1. In a large saucepan, add chicken stock and bring to a boil.... if using rice, add 1 cup more stock
2. Add orzo(or rice, if using) and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.... if using rice, simmer for longer, 15+ minutes or until rice is tender.
3. Remove from heat(do not drain). Set aside.
4. Add eggs to a bowl and beat until thick. Whisk in lemon juice and zest.( it's best to start with 2 TBS and add remaining juice at the end, if you feel it needs it... this way, the sourness can be adjusted to preference.)
5. Gradually add 1/2 cup hot broth from the saucepan, whisking constantly.
6. Add 2 more 1/2 cups broth, whisking after each addition.
7. Pour mixture back into saucepan and reheat on low, stirring with a wooden spoon until egg cooks(the egg foam dissipates)... and the soup just slightly thickens. ....Do NOT boil or eggs will curdle.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste....and a bit of parsley(or dill).
9. Garnish with more parsley...or dill right before serving. You can even add a bit more lemon zest, if you like.
10 Serve hot in the winter...or cold in the summer.


Speranta said...

Ellie,am sa incerc reteta "Greek Avgolemono...Lemon and Orzo Soup"

Este usor de preparat si cred ca este si custoasa!
Multumesc mult pentru reteta...

O zi plina de soare iti doresc!

Dan the man! said...

Yum, I haven't made this soup yet this year and I think I might have to now! Still lovin your blog!

Laura @ hip pressure cooking said...

Let's see some of your pressure cooker recipes!



Ellie said...

Speranta, Supa asta chiar este foarte usoara de facut, mai ales daca ai niste zeama de pui....si nu este prea "heavy"....multumesc de vizita, si iti doresc si tie o zi plina de har!

Dan, Aww, thanks for stopping by...and for your kind comment. I really appreciate it!
This soup is pretty simple to make and quite light...hope you enjoy it:).

Laura, Thanks for dropping by... while I use my pressure cooker quite a bit, my repertoire of pressure cooker recipes don't compare to yours:).
I've posted a few recipes...see recipe index(way at the bottom), but I know most folks don't own a pressure cooker, so I try to limit the recipes I post. However, I'll be posting one soon:)...

Mihaela said...

Ellie, Happy New Year! I love how this soup looks and it seems perfect after all the pork we had in Romania :) Have a great weekend!

Ellie said...

Yay, Mihaela...you're back:)! I'm thinking you had a fabulous trip to Romania...I can only imagine what delicacies you had while there:). What's a holiday spent in Romania without some fresh pork?... the two just go together:).
But it must have been extra special for you to be with your family....am so happy that you could go.
Wishing you a wonderful New Year as well!... missed your posts.