Avgolemono Soup

Serves 6
Avgolemono is my mom’s favorite soup, lemon lover that she is. Whenever I visit her, we order it from a local Greek diner/cafeteria in a town near her Massachusetts home. The silky texture is achieved by whisking the egg whites to soft peaks, then adding the yolks and lemon juice before incorporating it all into the chicken broth. The result is a creamy concoction that tastes instantly familiar, homey, and comforting.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a 4- to 5-quart saucepot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in rice and continue cooking, 2 minutes more.
  3. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Stir once, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is tender, 15-18 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Whisk in egg yolks and lemon juice.
  5. Remove soup from heat. Slowly ladle 1 cup soup into egg mixture while whisking constantly to temper eggs. Return tempered eggs to saucepot, stirring to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
cook's note
Good to know: Tempering When whisking eggs into a hot liquid or mixture, it is important to “temper” the eggs first by combining them with a little of the hot liquid, bringing both mixtures closer in temperature, to prevent the eggs from curdling or turning into scrambled eggs. Then the tempered mixture is slowly whisked into the hot liquid to thicken it smoothly.
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