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Kotosoupa Avgolemono (Chicken And Rice Soup With Egg And Lemon)

Kotosoupa Avgolemono (Chicken And Rice Soup With Egg And Lemon)
Kevin D. Weeks for NPR

This soup is a common feature at Greek Easters as well as other feasts. Avgolemono is a traditional sauce made of lemon and egg. It requires some attention to make because the acid in the lemons can make the eggs curdle, as can the heat of the soup. So limber up your whisking arm before you begin, and prepare for some of the best chicken soup you've ever eaten.

Serves 6 as a soup course

4 lemons

4 cups chicken stock or broth

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch dice

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds

1/2 celery stalk, cut into 1/4-inch lengths

1/4 cup long- or medium-grain rice

1 large egg

2 tablespoons minced fresh mint

Zest and juice 1 lemon. Then combine in a soup pot with chicken stock, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a medium simmer and add diced chicken. Cook for 20 minutes, but do not boil. Remove chicken from stock and reserve.

Increase heat to a vigorous simmer. Add carrots and celery to stock and cook 10 minutes. Add rice and cook another 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Whip egg in a small bowl then beat in the juice of 1 lemon. Gradually beat in 2 cups of soup liquid, being careful not to overheat and curdle the eggs. (It's a good idea to use an electric mixer.) Return soup to medium-low heat and vigorously whisk in egg mixture. Continue cooking — being careful not to boil — until soup is somewhat thickened and creamy. Stir in mint and serve immediately with remaining 2 lemons cut into wedges.

The soup can be kept refrigerated for a day or two and then reheated gradually, again taking great care not to boil.

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