Greek Lemon Rice Soup with Chicken – One of my favorite soups to order at Greek restaurants and now you can make it at home!
I’ve come to a realization about myself. I can pass a restaurant every day for years and never think of going in UNTIL it closes and then all I can think about is how I want to eat there. Classic case of you only want what you can’t have. Otherwise known as being a spoiled whiny brat. Yep, that about sums
me it up.
Up until recently there was this Greek restaurant down the street from my house. This place was a landmark. Everyone within a 30 mile radius knows of this place. They were famous for their pizza and Greek salad. Apparently their Greek dressing is something dreams are made of. I don’t eat Greek salad so I couldn’t vouch for that but on the few occasions I did go to this place I always started my meal with their Greek Lemon Rice Soup and then ordered Greek Style Lamb for dinner. Now, I haven’t been to this place in years because, well, the interior was old and run down and even though smoking has not been legal in restaurants in years, the place had an old smoke smell to it. Needless to say, it didn’t set up for an appetizing atmosphere. Also the dining rooms were decorated straight out of 1970 and I’m pretty sure that is the last update it had.
So yesterday I drove by and saw that not only is the place closed down but the iconic building is gone. Literally, gone. Knocked down, nothing left in the lot. So, like the true spoiled brat I am, I immediately started craving the soup.
I didn’t feel like making anything to go along with the soup so instead of making plain old lemon rice soup, I decided to make it into an entrée by making it Greek Lemon Rice Soup with Chicken. It was filling enough for an entrée, which sometimes is tough to do with soup.
I didn’t have any pre-cooked chicken on hand so I just poached 2 boneless chicken breasts in chicken broth. You can either poach your chicken and shred it or use up some leftover rotisserie chicken or use that store bought pre-cooked chicken. Whatever you have on hand is fine.
I was really nervous about the amount of lemon juice to add. There is a fine line between not enough lemon and too much lemon. I’d say the safe bet is to start with 1/4 C lemon juice and then taste and add more to your liking. I think when all was said and done I probably used about 1/3 C.
While this recipe is super easy, there is one technique that is quite important: tempering the eggs! Listen, you don’t want scrambled eggs in your soup. If you add the eggs directly into the pot of hot soup that is exactly what you will get. It is very important that while you are whisking the eggs and lemon juice together, stream in a ladle of hot broth. You’ll want to whisk constantly. Basically you want to slowly bring the eggs up to the temperature of the soup before adding them into the pot. Make sure your soup is turned down to medium/low before adding tempered egg mixture.
That’s about it. Now that I’m on my Greek kick, I think that Greek Style Lamb is going to be attempted in my kitchen soon!
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- 1 onion diced
- 3 carrots diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 boneless chicken breasts cooked and shredded or chopped
- 2 C rice cooked
- 64 oz chicken broth
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/3 C lemon juice fresh
- 1/4 C parsley freshly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place onion, carrot, bay leaf and chicken broth in a large pot over medium/high heat. Bring just to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes, or until vegetables are just soft.
In a bowl whisk eggs well. Whisk in lemon juice. While continuously whisking egg and lemon juice, add in 1 ladle full of the hot soup mixture. Whisk 1 minute and add another ladle of hot liquid. Again, whisk for 1 minute.
Reduce soup heat to low and stir whisked egg, lemon juice and hot broth mixture into soup. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, just 5 minutes on low. Stir in parsley and serve.
Recipe inspired by Greekfood.about.com