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Greek Lemon Soup with Chicken and Orzo

Greek Lemon Soup with Chicken and Orzo

When you first see the recipe for this soup, you may think it sounds weird. After all, egg yolks aren’t exactly a typical ingredient in soup.

And let me assure you the resulting soup isn’t ‘eggy’ tasting at all. Rather, the acidic lemon cuts through the rich yolks and savory broth, making for a perfectly balanced, and perfectly creamy soup.

Greek Lemon Soup with Chicken and Orzo

It’s not a soup that cries out for a lot of stuff either. In fact, the watercress on top was just an afterthought here (we had some left over from a shoot earlier in the week), but I thought the radish-like spiciness was the perfect complement to the creamy yellow base.

We preferred the slightly sweeter Meyer lemon in this recipe; when we made it with regular lemon the result was slightly metallic tasting, almost too tart to be enjoyable. So if you do use regular lemon, unless you are a die-hard lemon lover, you may want to reduce the lemon juice just a squidge.

Greek Lemon Soup with Chicken and Orzo

Yield: 4 servings

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the orzo and boil until just tender, about 7 minutes (1 to 2 minutes less than the package directions).
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until lightened in color. Slowly drizzle in 1 cup of the hot broth, whisking vigorously, until egg mixture is hot to the touch. Take your time, you want to temper the egg yolks here rather than cook them. Add the egg mixture to the saucepan, reduce heat to medium, and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.
  3. Add the chicken and cook for another minute or two until chicken is heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe from Real Simple.

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34 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 5:26 am

    These pictures are GORGEOUS! I love the simplicity of the styling.
    I have seen soups like this on menus at Greek restaurants and have always wondered how they taste…love that I can make my own! I bet that egg yolk makes this soup extra rich and creamy!

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 5:55 am

    So beautiful! The images, the recipe, the fact that you oh just randomly had watercress laying around, that cool surface. Love it all. pinned

    Reply

  3. 3
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 6:04 am

    I like weird, so I am convinced, hahaha. 

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 6:17 am

    I grew up eating this soup….an absolute favorite!  Yours looks especially gorgeous.

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 7:33 am

    looks so delicious!!! and the pictures are amazing!!

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Sounds very interesting! We are intrigued!

    Reply

  7. 7
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Sounds very intriguing and the stunning pictures just makes me want to try this.

    Reply

  8. 8
    Liz
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Hi Lindsay. Did you know egg whites can be frozen and saved for later? A good tip w this recipe since some people may back away fr trying w a bit of fear of wasting. But I love egg white omelettes so advice that I don’t even use! ;)

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Just reading the word “lemons” is making me pucker.  This sounds great and looks super simple, I can’t wait to try it!  Beautiful pattern, love it.

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Yummy, I too am whipping up something Greek today

    Reply

  11. 11
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Gorgeous and oh so comforting! I’d love to curl up with a bowl right about now and say “BOO!” to old man winter.

    Reply

  12. 12
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 11:55 am

    What a lovely soup!  I’m a Greek food fan so I need to try this yumminess.

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    I love that this soup looks so creamy and luscious without the use of heavy cream.  I can’t wait to try it!  

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    This is one of my favorite Greek soups when my giant Greek family gets together and dines (what else would we be doing??)! 
    Perfect! 

    Reply

  15. 15
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I Love this soup — I make mine with rice, but I’m going to try the orzo…the silky lemony broth is unique!

    Reply

  16. 16
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    What a beautiful soup!

    Reply

  17. 17
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Gorgeous!!! Love the background! 

    Reply

  18. 18
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    This soup sounds unique and tasty. I love that the egg adds creaminess, and lemon and chicken are made for each other. 

    Reply

  19. 19
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Oh how funny I just made that Real Simple recipe last week and am working on an adaptation w/chickpeas and rice! Love how nourishing this soup is.

    Reply

  20. 20
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    I used eggs to make a Belgian fish stew a while back and was equally skeptical of the eggs, thinking it’d come out like an egg drop soup, but like you, I had wonderfully creamy results. Can’t wait to try this!

    Reply

  21. 21
    Posted On February 17, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    There is a Greek restaurant that I always order this soup, love that you made it at home! I am so intrigued by the yolks. 

    Reply

  22. 22
    Posted On February 18, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Lindsay, this soup is beautiful!

    Reply

  23. 23
    Posted On February 18, 2014 at 4:09 am

    It look perfect!

    Reply

  24. 24
    Posted On February 18, 2014 at 5:58 am

    This is my FAVORITE type of soup! I love it with a scoop of perfectly cooked white rice. It’s so warm and comforting, but the lemon provides lightness and freshness!

    Reply

  25. 25
    Dana
    Posted On February 18, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I just saw you on a Top 10 list. Congrats!!! Looks good. I follow Smitten Kitchen and Cooking With Mr. C.  I will now add you to my favorites.    Dana

    Reply

  26. 26
    Posted On February 18, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Just made the soup! Thank you for the recipe, it was a hit! Love it!

    Reply

  27. 27
    Posted On February 18, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    So glad I discovered this blog ((although I’m clearly 7 years late to the party!) – this soup was DELICIOUS and I’m planning to make your no bake honey roasted peanut and banana cake later. excited! Thank you! 

    http://www.the-Austinite.com

    Reply

  28. 28
    Posted On February 18, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Smart idea using meyer lemons! I made this soup once and I felt it was too lemony too.

    Reply

  29. 29
    Posted On February 18, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Yum, this looks really refreshing and comforting at the same time!

    Reply

  30. 30
    Maria
    Posted On February 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Hi there! Actually here in Greece we use the Egg-Lemon mix for all soups. So what you are describing would be called a chicken soup here in Greece!  :)
    I just wanted to add a few tips… You can use the whole egg, not only yolks. The lemon is added slowly in the beaten egg while you still continue to stir the mixture. After that you add the brooth with a slow pace – still you continue stirring – so that the egg does not boil – the more brooth you add, the lesser the posibilities for your egg to boil.

    I use a handmixer, it makes it easier  ; )

    Reply

  31. 31
    Posted On February 22, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    This is one of my favorite soups! I can’t wait to try your recipe!

    Reply

  32. 32
    Posted On February 23, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    This looks absolutely incredible. And perfect for the start of spring!! 

    Reply

  33. 33
    Megan
    Posted On February 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    After you add the egg mixture back into the pot DO NOT BOIL IT! Doing so creates a separated broth and you do not end up with the creamy texture that is desired. I’m sure it altered the taste as well. 

    Reply

  34. 34
    Tori
    Posted On September 10, 2014 at 2:09 am

    aww man. this soup looks beautiful, and I was dreaming about it all day as a way to use up my leftover egg yolks from a cake I made last night. I don’t know if my stovetop runs hot or what, but  even though I followed the directions re: temperature, the egg cooked weirdly and turned a bit lumpy as soon as I added the stock/egg mixture back into the pot :( still tastes ok but definitely not as silky/tasty as it would’ve been. very sad.

    Reply

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