Manny Matsakis

Inside Access: Avgolemono Soup in Mom’s Kitchen

Eggs + lemons = avgolemono

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They say when you have lemons, make lemonade. But, when you’re home and in a Karpathian-Greek kitchen, we make Avgolemono Soup. Traditionally, this soup recipe requires chicken and rice; however, on my mother’s island in the Aegean, they prefer a velvety smooth version with orzo pasta instead of rice.

Here are the Ingredients

3 Chicken thighs with skin.
1 large carrot, cut into large pieces.
1 Onion, sliced in quarters.
3 stalks of celery, cut into large pieces.
Sea Salt to taste.
3-4 quarts of water. (To reduce to 10 cups)
2 Lemons to make a half cup of lemon juice.
2 large eggs.
1 and-a-half-cup of orzo pasta.
Freshly ground black pepper, for serving.

"When life gives you lemons, make Avgolemono Soup."


In a Karpathian kitchen, patience is a virtue and the key to making incredible tasting meals. In fact, during the time it took to make this tasty soup, we were able to make a couple of loaves of bread, some rolls, and even a strawberry pie. You’ll notice this in the video.

So, take your time and enjoy replicating this recipe. Everyone will be impressed with your cooking prowess. To create that luxurious creamy texture of this soup, you’ll need to reduce the broth down to 2 quarts and two cups (10 cups) entirely, this can take 30 to 45 minutes.

You’ll know when the broth is ready because the chicken has cooked through, it may take an hour. (Note: Skimming the foam at the top the broth is essential.) Transfer the chicken to a plate; with the carrot, onion, and celery. Let the chicken sit until cool enough to handle.

Continue to cook the broth over medium-high heat until it has reduced to about 2 quarts, about 30 minutes—season with salt.

Measure out 2 quarts of broth and then add your orzo pasta (1+half cup) to cook in the pot until tender. (20-30 minutes)

Now comes that magical moment…

Meanwhile, Grab one cup of cold water to help in the “tempering” process. This single cup of cold water is a trade-secret in how to cook the eggs in the soup without scrambling.

Crack two eggs and squeeze the lemons for the juice.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and lemon juice until foamy. Whisk constantly, as per the video, to a peaked perfection.

Reduce the heat in the pot to medium-low and grab that cup of cold water. Put in half a cup of cold water to the broth and keep the other half to incorporate into the tempering process.

Whisking constantly, add one cup of the hot broth slowly, or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs – use the other half cup of cold water to keep the temperature down as needed. Then keep incorporating the hot broth into the egg, lemon mixture, until fully integrated.

Take the heat to medium and cook the soup until slightly thickened and velvety, about 5 minutes should do it. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let it sit for 15 minutes to thicken up slightly.

Serve with or without chicken and cooked vegetables.

Hint: This soup is even better as a leftover. Saving it in the refrigerator for up to three days makes for a magical dish.

Comment Below

Have you ever tried Avgolemono Soup? Give it a try, and let me know in the comments below what you think!

Leave a reply and let me know!

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4 thoughts on “Inside Access: Avgolemono Soup in Mom’s Kitchen

  1. I have had Avgolemeno soup many times but I’m sure it wasn’t as good as Maria Matsakis. I will try her recipe and I hope you have a great year Manny!

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