This healthy avgolemono soup is almost exactly like the classic Greek dish made with rice, lemon, and eggs except it’s a little lighter and you can swap out traditional chicken for fish if you please.
Commonly known as avgolemono in Greece, this classic lemon rice soup is commonly made with chicken. Here, it’s a touch less creamy, a little brothier, and you have the option of swapping white fish for chicken, although leftover roast chicken also works terrifically. Either way, the slurp-worthy results are satisfyingly worthy of upending tradition.–Angie Zoobkoff
Healthy Avgolemono Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 2/3 cup uncooked arborio rice
- 10 cups canned chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
- 1 pound shredded cooked chicken from 1 rotisserie chicken or firm white fish fillets such as tilapia, cod, or haddock, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) strips
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Sea salt (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Pour in the rice and stir until the grains are well coated with oil.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice is just tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the fish and gently simmer until the fish is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. (If you’re using cooked chicken, you will only need to warm it through, about 3 minutes).
- In a heat-safe glass measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, eggs, and pepper. Whisking the egg mixture constantly, add a few ladles full of hot broth. Then stir the egg mixture into the soup. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
A few inspired ingredients produced a lovely, brightly flavored soup. Book club for me means a themed dinner, usually with some form of goofy costume to complement the storyline. This recipe was the perfect choice for our Greek-inspired evening. And it had all the book clubbers clamoring for seconds.
I made the rice and stock portions of the recipe early in the day and set it aside. After we had enjoyed an apertivo, I finished making the soup and we had an easy meal in minutes.
I opted to use a lemon pepper rotisserie chicken, which yielded the exact amount needed for the recipe and added to the simplicity of the dinner.
Overall, the combination of chicken broth, white fish, lemon, and parsley is a winning one. While this was good the first time around, I enjoyed it more as leftovers the next day, and I believe that’s because the lemon juice was slightly muted by the extra time. When first made it, I thought the lemon flavor was a touch too strong and overpowered the fish, though my husband liked it that way. I’d let it all warm through a little more before serving next time.
This made a huge number of servings. Even though this is intended to be a soup and not a chowder, I think for my personal preference, I would cut the broth back by a cup or two next time. That might also require cutting the lemon down a little, too.
This healthy soup is excellent! It has a bold lemon flavor, so if you like lemon, you’ll love this soup. It can be made in under an hour, which makes it nice on weekdays, too, and serves about 8, but can be easily halved to make 4 servings.
I used tilapia and it turned out great, but I am sure that it would be excellent with chicken as well. I also think it would be good if you added some broccoli florets, though maybe not keeping with the traditional soup. Also, just with any soup, the broth used will determine a lot in the soup and spices can be added to adjust the end flavor. Generally, I prefer a white pepper over black pepper and I will probably use white pepper when I make it again.
I would be careful at the end when you add the egg mixture as the egg can be easily cooked. I thought I had added enough broth to temper it, but I still got a few strands of cooked egg white.
This is one of the simplest yet most delicious soups I have made in a long time. The final taste was amazing. I loved the lemony taste. This will be a repeat.
I decided to use some flounder fillets I had and I used vegetable stock as I had no chicken stock.
Originally published April 09, 2019