Greek Lemon Soup —Avgolemono

By • January 28, 2013 22 Comments

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Author Notes: The name of this classic Greek soup emulsion of lemon and eggs comes from its two main ingredients: egg (avgo) and lemon juice (lemono). The key to this soup is tempering the egg and lemon mixture by slowly adding hot stock and then whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling. You then stir the mixture into the soup, which becomes all velvety lush lemony goodness. A Greek salad and warm pita bread are wonderful accompaniments to this soup.ChristineQ

Food52 Review: WHO: ChristineQ is from Bainbridge Island, Washington.
WHAT: An eggy, lemony, orzo-spiked bowl of goodness.
HOW: Cook orzo in stock, temper the eggs and lemon juice, simmer, and serve.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Thanks to the magic of lemon and eggs, in just 30 minutes you've got a bowl of soup that's both easy and complex. We'd eat a bowl of this any season, but it's particularly perfect for early spring. Pantry meals just got a lot brighter -- and a lot more special.

Serves 4 to 6


  • 8 cups homemade or store-bought chicken stock, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 1 dash sugar

Lemon Egg Mixture & Garnish

  • 4 eggs (whites and yolks separated), room temperature
  • 3 large lemons, juiced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 dill sprig per serving (fresh thyme, mint, or chives may be used)
  • 4 to 6 paper-thin lemon slices (1 per serving)
  1. To prepare the soup, bring stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Lower heat to a simmer and add salt, pepper, and orzo; cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside 2 cups of stock.
  2. To prepare the lemon-egg mixture, beat egg whites in a medium-size bowl until soft peaks form. (You can do this with a handheld mixer [on medium] or with a stand mixer.) Beat in the egg yolks and lemon juice. Pour 2 cups of reserved hot stock slowly into the lemon and egg mixture, whisking continuously until all is incorporated. Return soup to medium-low heat and whisk in lemon-egg mixture. Add chicken stock back into the soup and simmer until thickened slightly, about 2–0 minutes.
  3. To serve the soup, ladle into warm bowls and garnish with white pepper, chopped dill, a dill sprig, and sliced lemon.
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Comments (22) Questions (1)


6 months ago jencordes

Egg white answer:
2. Beat egg whites till soft peaks form. BEAT IN egg yolks and lemon.



about 1 year ago jlo3

Hi Christine,
Thanks for the post.
Avgolemono is one of those recipes that is easiest to follow and understand when you've seen a demo in action. Easy for us who have grown up with it to understand exactly what you're talking about. Well done on your explanation of a technique that would ideally benefit from step by step images or even better, a video.
I must say I prefer the delicateness of rice over orzo for this soup but if people prefer orzo, I don't think anyone we need to be avgo'lemono snobs about it.
It's correct that the soup isn't quite as light in texture the next day but I actually love the flavour, even if it's a tad thicker-I compensate for this by using less rice in the first place.
Extra 1/2 lemons on the side allow each diner to squeeze in additional juice to taste, yum!


over 1 year ago Piubellamiu

Hi, I get also problem with this riecipe..., where go eggwhite?
The autror forgot to write it, and Im affraid my soup was not well done. Christine Please clarify this for me. Thank you


over 1 year ago Eleanor Bower

I don't see any problem with the the directions in the lemon egg mixture. It's very plain-follow directions for eggs & add to 2cups reserved chicken stock(which should be lukewarm)than slowly stirring into the soup & simmer on low heat til thickened slightly. Serve as in 3rd step!!


over 1 year ago Joyce

Orzo is pasta, not rice. I wouldn't put it in anyway, just my preference. I never met a recipe I couldn't modify!


over 1 year ago Kathy S.

So??? I am not a rice person so that is fine with me….


over 1 year ago LaVonne Miller

This is not authentic Greek egg and lemon soup. For one thing, the authentic version uses rice. Also, there is no dill added.


over 1 year ago Jessica

Unnecessarily snarky.


over 1 year ago mdinmn

she's right...(LaVonne) and not snarky at all... I think helpful


over 1 year ago suparna jashnani

Where do the eggwhites go ??


over 1 year ago Kathy S.

I am also very confused. 8cups stock, divided - How?
Pour 2 cups reserved hot stock into egg mix. Add stock back into soup? Which stock? you mean the stock with the orzo? Please clarify steps…. I have read it 5 times and still can make no sense of it.


over 1 year ago CMR

I've made this soup a few times since I posted. I heat all 8 cups of the stock first, add the orzo, then take 2 cups of the stock from the pot, add it to the egg/lemon mixture, then add that back into the pot. I've had no problems doing it this way. Super yummy soup!


over 1 year ago Ashley

The directions are confusing. You set aside 2 cups from step one, then you add those two cups into the lemon mixture. You're two cups of reserve stock are now used. After the soup is on the heat again with the lemon mixture (which has the 2 cups of stock set aside) you're supposed to add the chicken stock back into the soup. The last step is either redundant or a typo. Please clarify


over 1 year ago Brenda Bard

made for a supper date for a friend loved by all it was so sweet served in French onion soup bowls with a lemon slice on top


about 2 years ago CMR

I agree with bgavin, I find step 2 VERY confusing. I assume I am taking 2 cups of stock from the soup to add to the lemon-egg mixture, and that I add that back to the soup once it's incorporated. But the last sentence says to add chicken stock back into the soup and simmer...I'm not sure what chickedn stock is left... Please help!


over 2 years ago Paula Goldberg

Can this be made a day ahead?


over 2 years ago ChristineQ

Hi Paula, I wouldn't recommend it. This soup is best served, when made. I've had it the following day and it's just not quite as good. It seems to lose some of it's brightness(though it is still good.


over 2 years ago ChristineQ



over 2 years ago bgavin

Regarding the stock...Wouldn't you drain the pasta, reserving it *all* and dividing it into two cups for egg tempering and the balance to add in after? Maybe all of Step 2 could be clearer?


over 2 years ago ChristineQ

Oops, my apology- Just realized recipe missing ingredient.
2 sprigs of thyme added to chicken stock, with salt & pepper.
Remove thyme sprigs before serving.


over 2 years ago ChristineQ

Thanks so much!!


over 2 years ago lapadia

Yum, made a similar soup from the top of my head JUST the other day, wish I would have seen your recipe. I love this and will be trying it :) Good luck in the contest!!