With the weather finally cooling down a little it’s time to start re-introducing soup back into my 5-2 repertoire. As soon as I saw Allison from Spontaneous Tomato’s post for Avgolemono (Egg and Lemon) Soup I knew that I had found my next 5-2 fast day recipe idea. Allison’s version provides a modern spin on this classic Greek recipe, teaming a deliciously rich lemon-y egg enriched chicken broth with two very on trend super foods chickpeas and kale. It’s well worth checking out her post, if only to drool over the gorgeous photos of her lovely soup.
Inspired by Allison here is my fast day take on Avgolemono combining a few of my favourite ingredients; lemon, eggs, barley, chicken and stock into one big, easy to prepare beautiful bowl of soup. Previously I have posted a 5-2 version for another favourite soup Italian Stracciatella where egg is dropped into simmering stock to form tender, comforting striations. In Greek Avgolemono the egg plays quite a different role. Whisked with lemon juice, it’s gradually tempered with ladles of hot stock and gently stirred back into the hot soup giving the soup an impossibly light but luscious texture. Who would have thought a soup could be so decadently creamy without the addition of butter, milk or cream?
Combined with barley for bite and a little shredded chicken, Avgolemono was a welcome addition to our dinner table. The freshness of the lemon cut through the richness of the egg, making this suit perfectly suited to a late summer evening meal. Hungrily devoured by the whole family and deceptively satisfying at just 218 calories for a cup and a half serve.
Avgolemono. Greek Egg & Lemon Soup With Barley and Shredded Chicken
Serves 6 (218 calories per serve)
6 cups good chicken stock (120 calories)
450g (3 x 150g) boneless skinless chicken breast, shredded (495 calories)
1/2 cup barley, pasta, orzo or rice (350 calories)
4 long green spring onions, finely sliced (20 calories)
4 eggs, beaten (300 calories)
juice and zest of 2 lemons (24 calories)
sea salt and freshly crushed black pepper
IN A LARGE saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the chicken breasts to the pot, remove from heat and set aside covered for 45 minutes. The chicken breasts should be firm to the touch, and the flesh smooth and silky, not fibrous, when shredded.
MEANWHILE cook the barley, pasta, orzo or rice in plenty of salted water according to manufacturer’s instructions on the packet. Drain well and set aside.
REMOVE the chicken from the stock and shred into long silky strands. Set aside.
BRING the chicken stock to a strong simmer. Add the sliced long green spring onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until onions are soft.
WHISK together the eggs and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl until frothy. Very slowly ladle a cup of the hot stock into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. This will temper the eggs and prevent them from curdling.
REMOVE the saucepan of simmering stock from the heat and gradually pour the egg-lemon-broth mixture back into the soup, whisking constantly until thoroughly combined. The soup should thicken almost instantly and have a deliciously smooth and creamy texture.
ADD the barley and shredded chicken to the soup, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.
NOTE: To avoid curdling the eggs when re-heating any leftovers do not bring the soup to a boil. Instead heat up gradually at a slow simmer until warm.
That sounds wonderful, though I’ll wait till the humidity drops before attempting a soup. It’s amazing how much richness an egg can add to soup, and much less fattening than cream.
I did see on the news that it has been searingly hot in your neck of the woods. Here’s hoping that a cool change is on the horizon. This soup is seriously good.
Yay, thank you so much for sharing a link to my recipe and for sharing your own version of it! 🙂 Yours looks beautiful, and I love your idea to add barley and scallions. (The barley makes me think that bulgar wheat might be good too…)
I’ve never heard of that kind of stracciatella soup that you mentioned, but now I want to try making that! I thought “stracciatella” was only about sweet things, like chocolate getting torn apart into strands as it’s drizzled into ice cream… just learned something new! 🙂
Thank you for the inspiration. It is such a lovely recipe and good for you too. Aren’t eggs the most versatile and amazing ingredient? My family adores straciatella and were fascinated that using broadly the same key ingredients you end up with a decadently creamy soup. We had a robust discussion about both soups and the consensus was that avgolemono with its lovely lemony flavour was lighter and less hearty than straciatella. I’m pleased to report the bowls were licked clean.