Avgolemono is the soup of my childhood – my first memory is of being at my Aunty Helen’s house in Plymouth in the summer holidays, tucking into bowls of this soup after the long drive there. My father made Avgolemono Soup at home, as did my mother, and we often had a pot of it sitting on the back of the stove. For years I asked for the recipe and they would always smile and tell me that it was a secret. They will read this and shake their heads, as this is probably not their recipe, but it is taken from a book given to me by my grandmother – The Cypriots at Table – and has served me well over the past few years. My parents’ Avgolemono always came with scraps of chicken floating in it, whereas Aunty Helen’s did not. Some Greek restaurants add parsley to it, but I believe that is more for prettiness than taste. Simple, honest food is sometimes the best of all. These quantities make enough for 2 people with seconds!
Serves 2 from 22p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change.
zest and juice of 1 lemon or 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice, plus extra to serve, 6p (£1/500ml)
Bring the stock to the boil in a medium-sized saucepan, then add the rice and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
Add a few tablespoons of the hot stock to the egg mixture, beating it in quickly and thoroughly. Repeat. This step is very important – if you simply tip the egg mixture into the stock, you will end up with a pan of chicken stock with some scrambled eggs floating on the top. I learned this the hard way!
Once you have beaten in stock to the eggs two or three times, pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rice, and stir well to combine.
Serve the soup with extra lemon juice squeezed over the top, to taste.
If you have a roast chicken carcass, this is an ideal place to use up all those ‘bits’ of chicken. Add the carcass to the pan with the stock and remove it before you add the eggs, picking all the shreds of chicken off with your hands and adding them back to the soup.
From ‘A Girl Called Jack’ by Jack Monroe. Photography by Susan Bell.
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All text copyright Jack Monroe.