Summertime is finally here. The rainy weather has been replaced by brilliant sunlight, longer evenings, and heat. I do not know about your family but our diet takes a huge detour south to the Mediterranean. Lunches become far simpler affairs. Olive oil replaces animal fats. Vegetables from our vegetable gardens and fish take center stage. And our dinners whips away into green salads and delicious soups. One of our absolute favorite soups is Avgolemono, the silky smooth and lemony-bright chicken and rice soup from Greece.
I make my version of Avgolemono with the subtle anise flavors of freshly cut fennel.
Avgolemono: Greek Lemon, Egg, and Chicken Soup with Fennel
A silky-smooth, lemony bright chicken and rice soup from Greece
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sweet onion chopped fine
- 1 bulb fennel chopped fine
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice
- 2 chicken breasts
- sea salt and pepper
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the stock, rice, and chicken and bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until both the chicken and the rice are cooked. Season the broth to taste. Remove the chicken breasts and shred. Add back to the soup.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and the lemon together. Bring the soup back to a boil and whisk in the egg mixture, whisking constantly. The soup will turn creamy looking and thicken slightly. Divide into bowls and garnish with chopped fennel fronds and pepper.