Thursday, March 18, 2010
Avgolemono - Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If you're looking for a soup to span the seasons, I suspect you'll love this light chicken soup that's patterned after Avgolemono, a Greek soup made with chicken, rice and lemon broth. I've taken some real shortcuts with this recipe. Busy folks will love them, but they'll cost me points in my quest to earn a "foodie" merit badge. I hope you share my dislike of that word. It makes me downright uncomfortable. Someone, several years ago, decided there was an unpleasant class connotation associated with the words gourmet and gourmand. They, whoever "they" might be, wanted a word that spoke to the common man and the great unwashed. In a flash of brilliance, they plucked the word "foodie" from the rarefied atmosphere surrounding them and the era of the gourmet was put to rest. Those who love to cook and eat, and love other people who love to cook and eat, smiled and carried on, sure in the knowledge that the games and self-importance would continue unabated. I suspect we'll always remain on the outside looking in. We take shortcuts, make substitutions and listen more to table banter than the words of the current culinary super star. We - I - am a mess! I cook for fun, but I want my fun to be part of a life that revolves around more than food. I need great recipes, but I need shortcuts that make them feasible for my kitchen and family. Now here's where I'm going to get myself in trouble. I love deli chickens and canned broth. I love pre-minced garlic and, yes, I love frozen vegetables. The thing is, I want to consume my food rather than have it consume me. Now, if you want to make this soup from scratch I'll be the first to salute you. I did that once myself, and it was wonderful. It just wasn't necessary. What is necessary, is using the right kind of rice. Hopefully, you'll have access to (sushi)pearl or arborio rice. If not, use anything that works for you, save for instant or converted rice. The rice helps thicken the soup and give it its lovely creamy color. Don't overcook it. While I prefer to use fresh lemon juice for the soup, there have been occasions when I've used the bottled variety, and I'm happy to report the world didn't end. This is a very light soup and I think it works best for lunch. It takes about 30 minutes to prepare. Here's the recipe.
Avgolemono - Greek Lemon Chicken Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
8 cups canned chicken broth
1 cup uncooked pearl or arborio rice
1/2 cooked deli-chicken, skinned, boned and coarsely chopped or shredded
2 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in rice, lower heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add chicken and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
2) Meanwhile, whisk egg whites in a small bowl until they are frothy. Stir in yolks and lemon juice and whisk to combine.
3) Remove 1 cup of broth from soup. Slowly whisk it into egg mixture. Add another cup of broth in the same manner. Remove soup from heat and pour egg mixture into it. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
You might also like these recipes:
Celery Soup - One Perfect Bite
Creamy Carrot Soup - One Perfect Bite
Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup - One Perfect Bite