Avgolemono (pronounced ahv-goh-LEH-moh-noh) is the Greek chicken soup for the soul. It is every yiayia & mama’s answer to anything from the common cold, to a downtrodden spirit. The combination of chicken stock, rice, lemon & eggs makes avgolemono a simple comfort that is a timeless classic of the Greek cuisine.
When I married into my hubby’s Greek family, avgolemono became a staple meal in my life – his mother makes it all-of-the-time. His parent’s yard is literally brimming with lemons. With a tree in both the front and back yards of their property, they yield literally hundreds of pounds of lemons each year. With so much fruit on their hands, they always spread their lemon bounty amongst all of their family and friends. Their lemons get turned into all manner of recipes, but the one recipe that we always look forward to most is avgolemono.
Our recipe for avgolemono is a combination of what I have learned from my mother-in-law and my hubby to create the perfect bowl of this Greek classic. Over the years, we settled on arborio rice for the creaminess it lends to the soup. We also prefer to use homemade chicken stock as the base for the soup, it has such a different flavor than what you can buy at the store. The lemon and egg ratio is my hubby’s biggest concern when it comes to the perfect bowl of avgolemono – its literally what the name of the soup translates to avgo=egg – lemono=lemon. Our recipe gets the egg to lemon ratio just right.
Avgolemono is pretty much as simple as it gets. Much of the Greek cuisine is based on the quality of the ingredients versus the quantity of ingredients and this soup is the perfect testament of that principle. Pastured eggs with their rich golden yolks, juicy in-season lemons and homemade stock make this soup taste absolutely incredible, even though it is really only a combination of 5 ingredients.
We typically eat avgolemono for breakfast, as many Greeks do. Contrary to popular understanding, soups are actually one of the most commonly eaten dishes in Greek cuisine. People generally associate Greek food as gyros, moussaka, and the classic summer Greek salad, but soups actually are the true staple of the traditional Greek way of eating. I can remember the smell of soup emanating from the homes throughout our village in Greece. Meandering through the tiny streets and paths, smelling a different soup from one level of the village to the next, I gained a true understanding of the traditional way of Greek life.
Hot off the stovetop and finished off with a touch of fresh ground black pepper and an extra squeeze of lemon, as soon as you taste the perfection that is avgolemono you will understand why for us, lemon season is synonymous with this soup and why it is revered in every Greek kitchen.
- Total Time: 0 hours
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- 10 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock can be used for a vegetarian option)
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 5 eggs
- juice of 3 medium lemons
- 2 cups of shredded chicken (optional)
- 1 tbsp of salt
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- lemon wedges
- Bring stock to a boil over high heat & add rice
- Reduce heat to medium & simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often
- Meanwhile, whisk eggs & lemon juice together in a bowl until frothy
- While whisking, slowly add one ladle of the soup at a time to the egg & lemon mixture to temper the mixture: 4-5 ladles should do
- Transfer the tempered egg lemon mixture to the pot of soup, stirring to combine
- Add shredded chicken meat to soup at this point (if using) & cook another few minutes
- Season with fresh ground pepper & serve with lemon wedges to be squeezed for extra lemony flavor as desired
While avgolemono is traditionally made with chicken stock & meat, feel free to omit the meat & use vegetable stock for a vegetarian alternative
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
Reading your blog inspires me to dig more into my own Greek heritage!! I never had this soup before (my YiaYia didn’t cook much so I missed out on that) but I’m super excited to give this a try. I need to pass your blog on to my Greek family. They will LOVE IT I am sure!
This makes me so happy Andi – we hope to inspire people by sharing the food from our kitchen & you just literally made my night with your comment! It is one of our favorite foods and I really do hope you and your family love it as much as we do! <3
Aw, thank you Florence! Thank you for sharing <3
Going through this аrticle reminds mе of
my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking аbout this.
I am going to forwɑrd this article to him. Prеtty
sure he’ѕ going to have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much for sharing that with me Rosalina! I hope he enjoys it <3
What a beautiful soup! It’s perfect for a weeknight meal with crusty bread! Thank you for inspiring this week’s dinner!
Thank you so much Heidi! I am so pleased that you’re going to make it this week! I cannot wait to hear what you think ;)
Bella, such a lovely IG story. Simple, healthy and beautiful. Definitely adding to my soup repertoire. Making this tomorrow as it’s been quite cold and rainy in Dana Point. We have a large lemon tree too. And I use at least 3 a day. Thank you again for bringing your love of a healthy life into ours. Mary. Postscript Please write a cookbook. 🖤🦋
Aw, thank you Mary…I really appreciate it! I am so excited for you to make it and I would love to hear your thoughts on the recipe once you have tasted it! And, just so you know, I do plant on writing a cookbook ;) It is probably a couple of years off, but it is in the planning stages!
Bella thank you so much for sharing this recipe in your IG story. Inspired I made the soup for dinner that same night and it was so very delicious, quick, and easy to make.
It’s rich, creamy, and lemony. Huge hit at my house. Will most definitely be making this again :) oodles of thanks 🍋
You don’t know how happy reading your comment made me! I am just delighted that you enjoyed the avgolemono! Thank you for taking the time to let me know <3
Thank you for posting this beautiful recipe. I just made it and needed to share how simple and delicious your recipe is.
I threw in cooked short grain brown rice at the end since I didn’t have any arborio rice on hand. I also strained the lemon/egg mixture prior to adding to stock since I always have terrible luck with lumps and bumps 😛 Turned out perfectly silky! This is such a comforting, healthy soup; perfect for this rainy SoCal weather. I’ve been following you on IG for some time and have enjoyed all your beautiful photos. Now I’m excited to try out your other recipes.
Thank you SO much for leaving a comment Tram! It means everything for me to hear from the people who make my recipes! I love the way you used what you had on hand! Thank you for stopping by the blog to let me know you enjoyed my recipe <3
This soup was so beautiful. My husband is Greek and his mother used to make this soup every week. After she passed away a few years ago we tried our hand at making some but it was never the same. THIS CAME SOOOOOOO CLOSE. After we had a bowl it made us pretty emotional. Your recipe is going in to our rotation and “family” recipe books. Thank you!
This is one of the greatest moments of my blogging career…to read that our recipe came so close to the treasured soup your mother-in-law used to make literally almost brought me to tears! I am so honored to have our avgolemono become a family recipe for you! Thank you so much for sharing this with me, it truly made my day <3
The imagery is just stunning and so warm! Reflects your words and person :)
awwww…thanks Karlee! That means so much to me!
These photos feel so cozy Bella – I’m smitten!! I love avgolemono and I can’t wait to try this veggie version. <3
Thank you Alanna! That is exactly what I was trying to capture…I am so happy that it translated! I can’t wait for you to try it!
First I’m so jealous of anyone with a lemon tree, what a wonderful tree/trees to have. Beautiful images and you always describe (everything) especially Greek things so well. I think I mentioned this to you already but I love that it’s still brothy. We love using aborio too, but also get this ,basmati – as odd as it sounds, a friend of mine uses it instead and turned me on to it. sacrilege I know!! lol
Thank you Joanne! It is such a blessing to have so many citrus trees where we live! I am so honored to share about Greek culture, it has changed my life in so many ways! And now you have me intrigued to try basmati!
Tonight I made a Greek classic, Avgolemono soup. I could cry it is so good (seriously, Bella, i can’t tell you what this means to me) .
My family is not even a little bit Greek but, there was a Greek restaurant (Costa Opa) in Fremont up until a couple of years ago that we went to a lot over the years for special family occasions, first dates, and just because. It was perfect and their Avgolemono soup, and the Saganaki 😍, were always the first things we ordered. .
This soup will remain in our family meal rotation forever and that’s really saying something in a world where there is no shortage of recipes to try and new foods to explore. .
Thank you, Bella! ❤️
I am beyond honored that my avgolemono recipe has now become a part of your family forever! Thank you so much for stopping by the blog to share this with me, it seriously made my day!
This is such a comforting soup Bella!among it this week!
Awww, thank you Diala! I cannot wait to hear what you & your family think!
I just made this for lunch and it was delicious. Thank you so much!
This makes me SO happy! Thank you for sharing!
This soup is yummy! And so EASY to make – thanks, Bella!
This recipe was so clear and simple, and for me that was perfect since I NEVER cook! Guess what, the soup turned out great!! I used Kettle & Fire bone broth for the soup but next time I want to try it with my own bone broth! Thank you for the wonderful recipe and stories!
I am SO happy that you enjoyed the soup and found my recipe clear & simple! Avgolemono is a treasured recipe in our home, so I am glad you enjoyed it so much!
This is my comfort food! My husband and I go to it more often than chicken noodle soup (sorry, mom). We hardly ever have any left over for the next day, so we have to fight over who gets the last bowl! The lemon is so delightful in it, and I enjoy addeding some red pepper flakes in mine to give it a bit of a kick.
This makes me SO happy! This is our ultimate comfort food as well! SO SO happy that it is such a hit with you and your husband! And thank you for sharing your thoughts here <3
When I found out we’re moving into the work from home stage i stocked up on some grocery basics. I was aiming for healthy food but something that could also comfort the heart. Avgolemono was on the top of that list, and I just wanted to say thank you again for sharing this wonderful recipe. It has made my heart happy and that is just so very much appreciated !
Awwww! I am so so honored that our treasured avgolemono recipe made your heart happy in these uncertain times…thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, it really means so much!