Lemon Rice Soup, loaded with flavors from Greek cuisine, is a comforting and delicious soup known for its creamy texture and bright, tangy flavor.
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Greek Lemon and Rice Soup
The primary ingredients in this soup are chicken broth, rice, lemons, and eggs. Some versions might also include shredded chicken or vegetables like carrots and celery.
The soup starts with cooking rice in chicken broth until it's tender. Separately, eggs are whisked until they're frothy and then slowly tempered with some of the hot broth to avoid curdling. This egg mixture is then added back to the soup, creating a creamy, emulsified broth. Finally, fresh lemon juice is stirred in, adding a bright, tangy flavor that balances the richness of the egg-enriched broth.
Lemon Rice Soup is warm and comforting, yet also light and refreshing thanks to the citrus. It's perfect for cold weather but also works as a lighter soup option when it's warm out. This soup is often served as a starter, but with some crusty bread on the side, it can also make a satisfying light meal.
How to Make Lemon and Rice Soup
To make this recipe, we will need the following ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil: This is used to sauté the vegetables, adding depth of flavor to the soup.
- 3 medium carrots, sliced: Carrots add a touch of natural sweetness and a lovely color contrast in the soup.
- 3 stalks of celery, sliced: Celery provides a refreshing, slightly bitter counterpoint to the sweetness of the carrots.
- 1 medium red onion, diced: Onions form the base of many soups, adding a layer of savory flavor.
- 1 teaspoon of dried cilantro and dill: These herbs lend a touch of aromatic freshness and complexity to the soup.
- 8 cups of chicken broth: This forms the flavorful liquid base of the soup. Chicken broth brings a savory depth and richness to the soup.
- ¾ cup of long-grain white rice: The rice thickens the soup, making it more substantial and filling.
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest: This provides the soup with its characteristic bright, tangy flavor.
- 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper: These seasonings enhance all the other flavors in the soup.
- 1 cup of shredded chicken: Adding chicken makes the soup more hearty and protein-packed.
- Fresh dill to garnish: This provides a bright, fresh finish to the soup and enhances its presentation.
Once you've gathered the ingredients, we will use this process:
- Brown vegetables. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and red onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and fragrant. Add the dried cilantro and dill and stir to combine.
- Simmer soup. Stir in the white rice, lemon juice, lemon zest, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer the soup for 18-20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and cooked through.
- Stir in chicken. Stir in the shredded chicken and cook for an additional 5minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.
- Serve! Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh dill.
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Avgolemono Soup
Use Fresh Lemon Juice: Bottled lemon juice can't compare to the bright, tangy flavor of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Also, fresh lemons will provide the zest you need for the recipe.
Cook Your Rice in the Soup: Cooking the rice directly in the soup allows the grains to absorb the flavor of the broth.
Adjust to Taste: Feel free to adjust the amount of lemon juice, salt, and pepper to suit your taste. Some people prefer a tangier soup, while others might like a more subtly flavored one.
Use Homemade Chicken Broth if Possible: While store-bought is convenient, homemade chicken broth can significantly enhance the flavor of your soup.
Add the Chicken Last: If you're using pre-cooked chicken, add it towards the end of cooking to prevent it from becoming tough and overcooked.
Be Mindful of the Rice: Remember that the rice will continue to absorb the soup broth even after it's cooked. If you plan on having leftovers, you might want to consider cooking the rice separately and adding it to individual servings.
Use Fresh Herbs: If possible, use fresh cilantro and dill for the best flavor, adding them towards the end of the cooking process to preserve their bright, fresh taste.
Yes, you can use different types of rice, such as basmati or jasmine. Bear in mind, however, that different rice types may affect the texture and cooking time of the soup. Brown rice, for example, will take longer to cook than white rice.
Absolutely! You can substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth and omit the shredded chicken. To add more substance to the soup, consider adding additional vegetables or some canned chickpeas or white beans.
While this soup can technically be frozen, keep in mind that the texture of the rice may become somewhat mushy when thawed and reheated. If you plan on freezing the soup, you might want to consider cooking the rice separately and adding it when serving.
This soup should last for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator if stored in a covered container.
Yes, feel free to add other veggies you have on hand. Just keep in mind the cooking times of different vegetables to ensure they are properly cooked.
What to Serve With Greek Lemon and Rice Soup
Bread: A loaf of crusty bread is always a good companion for soup. It can be used to sop up any remaining broth in the bowl. Pita bread or a warm baguette would be particularly nice.
Salad: A fresh, crisp salad can complement the hearty, rich nature of the soup. A Greek salad, which includes feta, olives, and tomatoes, would pair particularly well with the soup's Mediterranean flavors.
Grilled or Roasted Vegetables: Serve the soup alongside a plate of grilled or roasted vegetables for a healthful, satisfying meal.
Cheese and Crackers: An assortment of cheese and crackers can make a light meal feel more substantial.
Grilled Chicken or Fish: If the soup is being served as a starter, grilled chicken or fish could make an excellent main course to follow.
Greek Dishes: Given the soup's Greek origins, consider serving it with other Greek dishes, like spanakopita (spinach pie) or dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) - or some of our favorite Greek recipes below:
Lemon and Rice Greek Soup Recipe
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Delicious lemon chicken and rice soup bursting with Greek flavor!
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 3 stalks of celery, sliced
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon of dried cilantro
- 1 teaspoon of dried dill
- 8 cups of chicken broth
- ¾ cup of long-grain white rice
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 cup of shredded chicken
- Fresh dill to garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, and red onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and fragrant.
- Add the dried cilantro and dill and stir to combine.
- Stir in the white rice, lemon juice, lemon zest, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer the soup for 18-20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and cooked through.
- Stir in the shredded chicken and cook for an additional 5minutes, or until the chicken is heated through.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh dill.
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Amount Per Serving Calories 89Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 18mgSodium 1224mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 1gSugar 3gProtein 7g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.