I haven’t made this or even ate this in years but somehow I never forget how perfect it is. It’s so simple, to an untrained palate it may seem underwhelming or boring. But it’s the combination of creamy lemon and egg that are so traditionally complimenting, you can’t deny the fact that it works.
When I was younger, my friends mom made avgolemono sometimes when I had dinner over their house. It was so creamy and filling without being overbearing; it always left me wanting more (which I think is a tell of any great meal).
Some recipes call for cornstarch, I personally don’t think it’s necessary. I think the recipe works best with fresh eggs; i.e. farm fresh and haven’t been sitting in the refrigerator for weeks. When you have a recipe like this, which has so few ingredients, it’s best to make sure they’re the highest quality possible.
The difference between store bought eggs and fresh is amazing! The yolks on our eggs are so rich, creamy and more yellow than a store bought. The beautifully yellow yolks make for an intensely creamy and thick soup. Love.
Although this recipe is quick and simple, it can go wrong if you don’t follow the instructions for tempering your egg mixture. It’s very important to do that part correctly; don’t rush it. You won’t lose any flavor but it won’t look right and the texture will be off.
This recipe serves 4 for an appetizer or 2 for a meal.
4 c stock (vegetable, mushroom, etc…)
3 fresh eggs
1/3 c lemon juice
1/2 c uncooked orzo
Salt & pepper
Fresh parsley or dill
Bring your stock to a gentle boil in a large pot.
Add orzo and reduce heat to a simmer.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to your broth.
Cook for a minute less than stated on the package, usually about 7 or 8 minutes, so the orzo is al dente.
Keep the heat low.
While the orzo is cooking, whisk eggs and lemon juice together until foamy.
Pour 1/2 cup of your hot broth into your egg mixture while whisking.
Try not to get any orzo in your scoop of broth; it will just make it harder to whisk.
This method, called tempering, heats up the eggs without cooking them. If you added the egg mixture to the hot broth without doing this, it would look like an egg drop soup and the eggs would separate and scramble.
Pour a few more 1/2 cups of hot broth to the egg/lemon bowl (all while whisking) until you’ve added 2 cups of broth.
Now you can add the whole bowl of egg mixture into the hot orzo pot and whisk to combine.
Cook for another few minutes over the lowest heat possible. The soup will thicken slightly.
Do not let the soup boil at all, this will cause your soup to become like scrambled eggs.
Taste and season with salt and pepper. I usually add another pinch of salt at this point.
Serve while hot. Top with a tablespoon or so of fresh parsley or dill. Enjoy!
Note: I usually cook 1/2 cup of extra orzo in a separate pot just incase somebody (like me!) wants to add more to their soup.