The most recognizable chicken soup in Greece is Avgolemono (ahv-goh-LEH-moh-no) or Egg-Lemon soup. With Avgolemono, the traditional broth is thickened with eggs and flavored with lemon to make a dense, creamy soup well suited to colder weather.
This version is simpler, it’s not quite as heavy, but it still makes a hearty, chunky soup with a rich flavorful broth.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Yield: 6 – 8 Servings
- For the Broth:
- 1 whole chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 lbs.
- 2-3 celery stalks with leaves, cut in half
- 1 onion, peeled
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the Soup:
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large potato, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, with liquid
- 1/2 cup orzo pasta
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Clean the chicken and remove skin and excess fat. Add 8 cups water to a large soup pot and add chicken, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Bring liquid to a boil and simmer partially covered for approximately 45 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Discard onion and celery. Carefully strain the broth through a fine sieve and reserve. If you choose to de-fat the stock, you can refrigerate it overnight and simply skim the fat off the top before using.
- Heat the olive oil in the soup pot and add onions, carrots, celery, and potato. Saute the vegetables for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Return the broth to the pot, add bay leaf and diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup orzo pasta. Simmer partially covered for at least 45 minutes until vegetables are cooked through. Stir the pot occasionally so that the pasta does not stick to the bottom.
- While the soup simmers, remove the chicken meat from the carcass. Dice the chicken and return to the pot to be heated. You may need to add a little bit of water or canned chicken broth to supplement the liquid in the pot. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.