15 Jun Avgolemeno



15 June 2024

PREP. TIME: 10 MIN   -   COOK TIME: 50 mins   -   SERVES: 4 -6

This soup has to be the last word in deliciously tasty, nourishing, comfort food - perfect for the ill and ailing and everyone else for that matter, especially on cold Wintery days. 

Avgolemono smacks of lemony, zesty flavours and is rich and creamy from the addition of eggs and either orzo pasta or short grain rice. The chunks of chicken make it a satisfying meal.  

Making your own stock using a whole chicken or some  chicken pieces makes the broth more flavoursome and nourishing. The broth can be made in advance or you can of course use a ready - prepared stock that you have enriched with additional ingredients. See how here:  https://elizabethpeddey.com.au/how-to-improve-the-flavour-of-box-stock/

Do not be put off by having to 'temper' the egg and lemon mixture - this is not at all difficult - it just takes a bit of care and a minute or two longer. 

If you have left over chicken that you cannot use, chop it and freeze for another time.

For smaller quantities: to 1 litre of chicken stock, use 1 cup of chopped cooked chicken, half a cup of rice, 2 eggs and 1/4 cup lemon juice..

See further TIPS at the end of the recipe.

Recipe Template

ingredients for 4 -6 people

1.5kg free range chicken pieces or a whole chicken

Bay leaf, sprig of thyme or parsley (optional)

1.75 litres water

1 cup arborio rice or orzo pasta

1/2 cup lemon juice

3 eggs


I tablespoon finely chopped parsley.


Chopping board and Kitchen knife

Measuring jug and cups

Mixing bowl and whisk

4 - 6 litre stock pot

2 litre jug




In Advance: Whenever cooking chicken or meat I recommend you salt it in advance of cooking and bring it to room temperature for 1 - 2 hours before cooking. This is not critical but it is a good habit and quite transformative in the improved texture and flavour you get. For more information on how to improve the texture and flavour of chicken click here.

1.. Prep

Place the chicken -  breast side down in the pot and pour over the cold water.

Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that accumulates on the surface. Discard this scum.

Season the broth with a dessert spoon of salt and add herbs if using.

Bring the liquid to a steady simmer and cook covered for 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and allow the chicken to cool in the broth.

2. Assembly

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove it from the pot and place it in a shallow dish and pull off the flesh and the skin from the carcass.
If you have time - return the bones and juices to the pot and continue simmering for another hour or two.

(Drain the stock through a fine wire strainer into a large jug. Refrigerate once cool  if you are not using straight away.)

When the stock is strained - Wipe out the pot and return it to the heat

Return the strained stock and bring to a simmer.

Check the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Add the rice or pasta and give a good stir. 

When the rice or pasta is almost tender add the chopped chicken and the parsley.

While the rice  or pasta is cooking - break 3 eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk until frothy. Stir in the lemon juice.

When the rice or pasta is cooked and the chicken warm through, remove the pot from the heat. 

3. Temper the Egg and Lemon Mixture

Pour a ladle of hot stock into the egg and lemon mixture and whisk well. Add another 2 or 3 ladles, whisking between each addition. Heating the egg and lemon mixture this way will stop the eggs curdling when added to the hot pot of soup.

With the pot still off the heat, pour the now warm egg mixture into the pot, whisking as you do so.

4. To Serve

Serve immediately with more parsley if you like.

5. To Store and Reheat

Allow any remaining soup to cool a little before transferring to a jar or other airtight container.

Keep in the fridge for 3 - 5 days.

To reheat, place the amount of soup you need into a pot and reheat gently. 

Serve with more freshly chopped parsley.

Freezes well.


* Use only fresh lemons

* Be sure to whisk the eggs thoroughly for a truly smooth and creamy texture.

* Take your time tempering the egg and lemon mixture withe the hot broth - to avoid curdling the eggs.

* Avoid boiling the soup after adding the egg mixture - reheat to a low simmer.

©Elizabeth Peddey


Recipe by Elizabeth Peddey

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