What better way to brighten up a mid-winter’s weekend than with homemade chicken and rice soup? Add a bit of sunshine — lemon — and you’ve taken a classic comfort food to cheery heights.
A couple of years ago, we cradled two steaming cups of avgolemeno at a local Greek restaurant. The server said some of the restaurant’s regular customers come in solely for avgolemeno: homemade chicken soup with lemon and egg* sauce. (The sauce is stirred into the soup — the eggs dissolve completely.)
The restaurant used orzo in their avgolemeno. Using Cat Cora’s recipe, I used arborio rice instead of orzo. I broiled thin lemon slices for garnish, but next time, I’m going to try grilling the lemon slices because under the broiler, the slices tended to dissolve. Though I didn’t end up with more than a couple of salvageable slices, the kitchen smelled delightfully sunshine-y.
Wishing you a warm and cozy winter’s night!
* For those who don’t eat eggs, you can substitute cream cheese, cooked potatoes or white beans as thickening agents. Simply put the egg/thickening alternative in the blender with 2 cups of broth and blend until smooth. Once smooth, pour into the soup and stir to blend. (Cream cheese is an especially nice substitute if you plan to freeze the soup in batches; it retains its creaminess beautifully.)