Everyone in our house has been sick at some point this week. I got talking to a lovely lady at Sweet Greek at the Prahran Market and she prescribed some of her Greek chicken and lemon soup traditionally called Avgolemono, it was delicious and so was her freshly baked Galaktoboureko (Greek custard filo). I must go back and try some more goodies.
Anyway, I have tried to make this soup before and it wasn’t as good as the one I tried at Sweet Greek. So I asked for the secret and sure enough there is one! I came home and checked all my Greek cookery books, of which I have many, and none of them mention it. So here it is. The addition of broccoli is not traditional and just a me thing, but it worked well.
1 organic whole chicken
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, crushed slightly
4 stalks of parsley
2 stalks of thyme
1/2 cup arborio rice or risoni
2 eggs, separated
3 lemons, juiced
1/2 head broccoli, finely chopped and lightly steamed
sea salt to taste
Rinse the chicken well then put into a large stock pot. Add the onion, garlic, parsley and thyme and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and turn down to simmer for 2 hours. Skimming the top as often as needed.
Remove the chicken and allow to cool. Strain the stock through a muslin or chux lined sieve and put back into a large clean saucepan.
Bring the stock back to the boil, add the rice and stir well. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, shred the meat from the chicken, discarding the bones and skin.
HERE’S THE HOT TIP:
Separate the yolks from the whites and beat the whites in a mixer until stiff. Gently fold through the yolks through the whites then add the lemon juice. Add a ladle of hot stock and whisk well before adding the mixture to the soup.
Add the shredded chicken and the lightly steamed broccoli.