I hate to admit it, but, California has made me soft. I'm originally from the Pacific Northwest, we are a hardy people who can handle all kinds of weather conditions. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stops a PNWer. Living in Santa Barbara for nearly 4 years has hardened my tough, weather resistant shell and caused me to start wearing multiple layers when the temp even thinks of dipping below 65°F.
This week has been particularly biting, as cold winds deceivingly whip through the cloudless, crisp blue skies. My space nerd hubs and some geeky pals somehow convinced me to join them on a mountaintop at 6 am this morning to watch a SpaceX rocket launch into space. I agreed to it, as long as there'd be breakfast after. But, nobody told me that there was a freeze warning and I'd lose all feeling in my fingers immediately. I came equipped with hot coffee and a warm spirit but that just didn't cut it when we learned the launch had been scrubbed.
A Greek Soup of Eggs & Lemons
Hours later and I'm still shivering at my desk. At this point the only way to warm up is a big ol' bowl of Avgolemono Soup. It's like the Greek answer to Chicken Noodle Soup, but brighter, silkier and better in so many ways. Avgolemono Soup is an egg and lemon based soup, Avgo (egg) lemono (lemon). The avgolemono sauce is velvety and smooth with a vibrant flavor and texture that's as creamy as heavy cream, without the cream. This recipe for Avgolemono Soup is made by boiling chicken thighs to form a healing and warming broth that's tempered with the creamy Avgolemono sauce. Orzo makes it extra hearty. Fresh dill and lots of lemon bring a brightness that could warm even the coldest California softy.
In order to get the velvety smooth base of this Avgolemono Soup, the eggs must be tempered with the broth and lemon juice, preventing the eggs from cooking too quickly and curdling. It's a minor but necessary step and truly makes for the creamiest soup base ever.
Store Bought Soup Ingredients Will Work, Too
I've been obsessed with Avgolemono Soup for years but hadn't made it until I came across this recipe from The Kitchn. It really is easier than I thought it would be and The Kitchn breaks the recipe down into digestible steps that don't overwhelm. While I made a few minor modifications; extra lemon, extra black pepper and additional orzo to push it towards porridge territory, this Avgolemono Soup recipe is solid. And, if you don't have the time to deal with boiling the chicken into a broth, you can easily modify the recipe by using pre-cooked, shredded chicken and store bought broth. Simple and quick.
If this Avgolemono Soup can warm up even the whiniest California convert after a 20 minute encounter with 30 something temperatures, it'll warm up anybody. It's also a no-brainer for cold busting and I am convinced a single bowl can kill a cough. This Avgolemono Soup will carry you through the rest of this winter and keep you craving soup well into spring.