A simple Greek soup. February 27, 2009Posted by ourfriendben in recipes, wit and wisdom.
Tags: Avgolemono, Greek recipes, Greek soup, Mediterranean food, soup
Silence Dogood here. Mr. Hays, the patriarch of our beloved Hays family, is planning to celebrate his 90th birthday by going on a cruise to the Greek Islands this April. (An appropriate choice, since one of his first foreign service posts was to Greece back in the day. It should be fun to go back!)
As faithful readers know, Mr. Hays is an enthusiastic and accomplished cook who has shared some wonderful recipes with me (and thus with you on this blog). So I thought I’d do my part of the trip preparations by sending him Greek recipes to help him get in a Mediterranean mood. And of course, since they’re so healthy and delicious, why not share them with you all? This week’s recipe is for Greece’s most famous soup, Avgolemono. It’s everything a springtime soup should be: Easy, healthy, flavorful, and fast. With March just minutes away, it seemed like the perfect choice!
7 1/2 cups flavorful chicken stock
1/2 cup orzo pasta
juice of 1 large lemon
salt and pepper
lemon slices to garnish
In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 5 minutes. Beat the eggs until frothy, then add the lemon juice and a tablespoon of cold water. Slowly stir in a ladleful of the hot chicken stock, then add one or two more. Pour the egg-stock mixture back into the pot of stock, off the heat, and stir well. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately, garnished with lemon slices. (Do not let the soup boil once the eggs have been added or it will curdle.) Serves 4-6.
This recipe comes from the big, beautiful book The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook by Jacqueline Clarke and Joanna Farrow (Hermes House, 2007). If you can find it, you’ll be glad you did!
But what if you’re a vegetarian like me? Obviously, I’d swap out the chicken stock for veggie stock, but that won’t give you the bright flavor that chicken stock would. So I’d also add a tablespoon of olive oil or butter (or both) to create a brighter, richer flavor. And much as I adore pasta, I’m not big on it in soup, so I confess, I’d swap out the orzo for rice. Maybe I’d even serve it with some baby arugula and feta cheese crumbled on top of each bowl. Hmmm, a few roasted red pepper strips? Yum!!!
If you try it or a variation, let me know what you think. And keep an eye out for more Greek recipes here on Poor Richard’s Almanac!
‘Til next time,