Chicken Soup Avgolemono: Greek Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup

Avgolemono, an egg-lemon soup, is traditionally served on Christmas Eve in Greece, but this delicious, easy-to-make dish is delicious all year long.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Greece
Keyword: Gluten-Free, Mediterranean, Paleo, Soy-Free
Servings: 8
Calories: 548kcal
Author: Lynn Livanos Athan


  • 1 whole chicken excess fat, trimmed and breast skin removed
  • 12 cup water
  • 2 carrots cut in half
  • 2 celery stalks cut in half
  • 1 onion peeled and cut in half
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp salt or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta (or rice)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 2 lemons
  • black pepper to taste


  • Add the chicken, water, carrots, celery stalks, onion, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and salt to a large stockpot. Bring to a rapid boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer partially covered for approximately an hour to an hour and a half.
  • Remove the chicken and vegetables to a bowl and carefully strain the broth through a fine sieve into a separate large bowl. Return the strained broth to the stockpot and bring to a boil.
  • Add the orzo pasta and cook, uncovered, for approximately 10 to 12 minutes until tender.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the egg-lemon mixture. Using a whisk, beat the eggs until nice and frothy in a bowl.
  • Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice in a steady stream while continuing to whisk.
  • When the pasta has finished cooking, turn off the heat. Ladle about 2 cups of broth into a bowl or large measuring cup.
  • Slowly add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture while continuing to whisk. This will temper the eggs and prevent them from curdling once they are added to the hot broth.
  • Stir the egg-lemon mixture into the pot and heat over very low heat for approximately 5 to 10 minutes until heated through. Be careful not to boil the soup once the eggs have been added.
  • Adjust your seasoning for salt and pepper.
  • Traditionally, this soup is served without the chicken meat or vegetables. You can add them back or serve on the side as you prefer.


If you like your soup very thick, you can add two tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in a bit of warm water to the broth before adding the egg-lemon mixture.

Photo credit: