AVGOLEMENO SOUP WITH QUINOA
Posted on February 1, 2013
This traditional greek soup is one of my all time favorites. If you’ve never had it, then you don’t know yet, but its crazy comforting and deliciously simple. I use quinoa instead of rice to make it slightly healthier, BUT if you want it absolutely authentic, you can replace the quinoa with rice.
The other great thing about this dish is that it gets its luxuriously rich and slightly creamy texture, not from cream, but from eggs!
You will need:
About a lb of chopped cooked chicken (if you have a rotisserie chicken on hand just chop that up and throw it in at the end! -I didn’t have cooked chicken on hand so I cooked some organic free range tenders… about 6 of em)
2 medium sized onions (chopped)
2 large carrots (peeled and chopped)
2 32 oz containers of good quality chicken stock (if you make your own, use it, then tell me and I’ll come over to your house and give you an award for being amazing)
3/4 cup of quinoa (1/2 cup if you want a more brothy soup- like the traditional version)
1 lemon (juice and zest- use 2 if they’re a bit dry)
2 eggs (or 3 for a thicker soup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives, parsley, or dill (I used chives because I had them)
A few dashes cayenne pepper (optional)
First prepare your veggies. Chop your onions.
And your carrots, peeled and chopped.
Heat a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil, swirl to coat and add your veggies. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let sauté until they begin to cook down a bit.
While these cooked I prepared my chicken (again, if you have cooked chicken on hand use it!).
In a medium skillet add a swirl of olive oil over medium high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of your chicken and add to your pan. Cook on one side until the edges begin to look opaque (see picture below) and flip. Cook another 3 minutes or so and add a few splashes of chicken stock (from one of the 2 32 oz containers listed) to deglaze the pan (loosening any bits that have stuck to the bottom with a wooden spoon). Cover and remove from heat. Let sit until time to chop and add to the soup..
Back to your veggies. Once they have begun to cook down a bit, add your quinoa. 1/2- 3/4 cup depending on how hearty you want it (the final product in the picture I show has 3/4 cup). Stir the quinoa in with your veggies for about 2-3 minutes before adding all of your stock… AND if you cooked your chicken according to my directions above, remove your cooked chicken and set aside and add the stock from your chicken pan now!
Add salt and pepper cook uncovered on medium low heat for about 30 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked. Chop and add your chicken to the pot.
Let your soup continue to cook on low heat. Now is time for the lemon and eggs! First, crack both of your eggs in a bowl big enough to fit a few ladle-fulls of broth (I ended up transferring to a bigger bowl).
Using a good old-fashioned whisk, break the yolks and whisk eggs until you get a somewhat homogenous mixture.
Zest your lemon, and add your lemon juice (get as much outta that guy as you can!) Whisk together eggs and lemon.
Here’s where it gets exciting! Using a ladle, slowly add the hot stock from your soup to the egg mixture WHILST whisking the mixture together. Do this for at least 3 or so more ladle-fulls.
**Doing this, slowly brings the egg mixture up to temperature so they don’t scramble when you add them to the soup.
Add your warmed egg mixture slowly to the stock pot whilst stirring and let continue to heat over low heat until soup thickens slightly, about 5 minutes or so. DO NOT BOIL, as this may also scramble your eggs.
Chop your herbs (chives in my case) and add to your pot.
This is also when I add a few dashes of cayenne pepper (this step is optional… I just like the little kick it gives)
Taste your soup, and like I always say, if it tastes good but not great it probably needs more salt or acid —in this case a little extra lemon juice or zest if you’re not detecting enough of it or a sprinkle salt if need be. Stir and serve!