Avgolemono is a traditional Greek lemon chicken soup that's simply comfort in a bowl! It's a gorgeous, delicious soup made with egg yolks and loads of lemon juice for a warming and satisfying meal.
Avgolemono is a classic Greek soup made with lemon and eggs, and it's possibly the best chicken soup I've ever tasted in my life.
It's an absolutely gorgeous soup with a beautiful yellow broth and incredibly aromatic from the fresh lemon juice. It's comfort food at its best and couldn't be easier to make.
Avgolemono actually refers to an egg-lemon mixture that's used in many other dishes in Greece to enhance their flavor with a bright lemon fragrance.
You'll find many versions of this Greek lemon chicken soup (or kotosoupa avgolemono as it's called in Greek). Some of them are made with rice and others with orzo - I opted for the latter because it cooks quicker, and I like it best in this soup.
I used uncooked chicken to make this soup from scratch, but you can also cut some corners and use leftover cooked chicken.
Why you'll love this avgolemono soup recipe
- It's a fragrant and satisfying soup that will warm up your belly and soul.
- It's very easy to make in one pot with very simple ingredients.
- The silky broth infused with lemon juice will change the way you think about chicken soup!
What goes into Greek lemon soup
Olive oil - Use some quality extra virgin olive oil to saute the veggies in.
Onion, carrot and celery - Dice the veggies small so they cook quickly and evenly. You can add a lid on the pot for a couple of minutes so they sweat a bit while sauteeing.
Garlic - Fresh garlic is always best for flavor in this Greek lemon orzo soup.
Chicken - I used chicken breast to make this soup, but rotisserie chicken or simply shredded chicken leftovers from a Sunday roast also work here.
Chicken stock - Both homemade and shop-bought chicken stock work well here. If using shop-bought, use the best quality you can because it really makes a difference.
Orzo - Orzo is a type of small pasta that looks like oversized rice. It takes about 10 minutes to cook in the soup.
You can also use rice in avgolemono - just follow the directions on the package regarding cooking times.
Eggs - Some avgolemono recipes call for whole eggs, others just for yolks. I prefer to use the egg yolk only because the whites are more likely to curdle. The eggs should be at room temperature.
Lemon - Freshly squeezed lemon juice is essential for avgolemono! Don't substitute it with bottled lemon juice.
Fresh herbs - I love fresh dill in avgolemono, but you can also use parsley or a mix of both.
How to make avgolemono soup
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
Shred the chicken with two forks and add it back to the pot.
While the orzo pasta is cooking, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice in a bowl. Take out 1-2 ladles of hot broth from the pot and pour it over the egg lemon mixture to temper it. Add this mix to the pot and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the fresh dill, adjust the seasoning and serve immediately, with some extra fresh dill on top if you like.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Reheat this Greek chicken soup gently on the stovetop or in the microwave. Don't bring it to a boil to prevent curdling the eggs.
- The orzo will soak up some of the liquid so you may need to add some chicken broth when reheating.
- You can freeze the soup for up to 3 months.
Recipe notes and tips
- Make sure you don't skip the tempering the eggs step -it's essential to avoid scrambling. You don't want to end up with egg drop soup.
- Make the soup creamier and richer by adding 1-2 tablespoons of butter with the olive oil.
- Serve this Greek lemon soup with a bit of freshly cracked black pepper and extra dill on top if you like.
If you liked this avgolemono soup recipe, you might also like some of my other easy soup recipes:
- Vegetarian Dumpling Soup
- Kielbasa Potato Soup
- Easy Italian Meatball Soup
- Creamy Vegetarian Tortellini Soup
- Creamy White Lasagna Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2-3 celery stalks, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 chicken breasts (about 12 oz / 350 g total)
- 6 cups (1.5 liter) chicken stock
- ¾ cup (175 g) orzo
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 egg yolks
- A handful fresh dill
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven and cook the onion, carrot and celery for 8-10 minutes over medium heat until softened.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the bay leaves, chicken and chicken stock.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Take out the chicken breasts and bay leaves. Add the orzo to the pot and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
- Shred the chicken with two forks and add it back to the pot.
- While the orzo is cooking, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice in a bowl. Take out 1-2 ladles of soup and pour it over the egg-lemon mixture to temper it. Add this mix to the pot and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the fresh dill, adjust the seasoning and serve immediately, with some extra fresh dill on top if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 154mgSodium: 679mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 32g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.