Photo by Edward Pond


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Chicken Lemon Soup


This chicken soup, known in Greek families as avgolemono, is sublimely comforting, yet has a light, lemony taste of spring. Use bone-in chicken thighs for flavour or substitute the boneless, skinless ones for convenience. You could replace thighs with other pieces or even leftover cooked chicken. Serve with warm, crusty bread.

  • Serves: 6
  • Course: Lunch


  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) arborio rice
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh dill
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Toss chicken with oil and a little salt and pepper. Set in a roasting pan and roast for 30-40 minutes, until juices run clear. (Or, you could grill the chicken.) When cool enough to handle, remove meat (discard skin and bones) and cut into small pieces, to yield about 2 cups (500 ml). Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring stock to a boil. Add rice and 1 tsp (5 ml) salt. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rice is just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Add yolks and whisk to combine (see Tip below). Ladle about 1 cup (250 ml) of hot broth into eggs, then add lemon juice. Slowly whisk egg mixture into soup. Add chicken and heat through until steaming. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve in warm bowls, garnished with dill and a lemon slice.
  4. Tip
  5. Separating and whisking the eggs produces a light, delicate texture; warming them with a little hot liquid before adding to the soup, a technique known as tempering, helps prevent curdling.

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