Monday, August 31, 2009

Greek egg and lemon soup (Avgolemono) recipe

Greek egg and lemon soup (Avgolemono) recipe, adapted from The Olive and The Caper
Sometimes I hear about a unique combination of ingredients and am completely disgusted.  Other times it intrigues me to the point that I have to make the recipe.  I don't remember where I first heard about this classic Greek soup that combines egg and lemon, but it fell into the latter category.

Greek egg and lemon soup (Avgolemono) (adapted from "The Olive and the Caper" by Susanna Hoffman)
(Printable version)

4 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup brown rice, sorted and rinsed
2 eggs
juice of one lemon
1/8 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper

Bring stock and rice to a boil in a medium saucepan, and then reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender (about 40 min).  In a small bowl, beat eggs with a hand mixer until they become foamy.  Then stir in lemon juice.  Add about half a cup of the stock and rice to the egg and lemon, while constantly stirring.  Remove the saucepan from the burner (this is critical!) and stir in the egg and lemon mixture.  Stir in salt, and garnish with pepper.  Serves 3.

I have to admit that the combination works.  It's not something that I could ever consume in large quantities because the lemon gives it an intense flavor, but I enjoyed a small bowl of it with dinner.  There wasn't much of an egg flavor, but they gave the soup a slight creaminess that was nice.  My research in the lab has not been going well at all lately, but at least my kitchen experiments work!!
Well, this is the last recipe from this month's cookbook of the month ("The Olive and the Caper").  It was fun to stray from the general-purpose books, but I didn't end up making as many things as I have in the past because I didn't want to burn myself out on Greek food.  There are many more recipes that I want to try, particularly the black-eyed pea salad that Candice recommended in the comments on my post about Greek shrimp and tomatoes.  Of the recipes that I tried out of the book, the shrimp and tomatoes was my favorite dish, and my parents seemed to enjoy the leftovers quite a bit (and are apparently planning to make this themselves).  I could eat that stuff every week.  I also really enjoyed the Plaki-style snapper and zucchini and this soup.  I made a summer vegetable soup from this book as well, which was good but rather simple and bland (though it was perfect while I was sick).  I didn't end up writing about it  because it didn't remind me at all of Greece.  Hey, you can't win them all.  Overall, I've enjoyed this book, but I'm sad that I couldn't try any of the phyllo recipes, so if you know a way to make it work with gluten-free flours, please let me know!!

Usually I decide on a cookbook for the next month long before the current month is over, but I have no idea what it will be for September.  I suppose I had better get to work!


Tasty Eats At Home said...

I've made a version of this soup before (blogged about it), but yours sounds lighter and even more delicious!

Julia said...

What do you mean by "sorting" the brown rice? Are you checking for rocks and pebbles?

Sounds like you had fun with this book of the month. Looking forward to your next adventure.

Katie said...

Alta - Now that you mention it, I remember seeing your post a while back. Wow - 12 egg yolks and 2/3 cup lemon juice! That's definitely heavier than mine, but I bet it was delicious!

Julia - Yep, I'm checking for rocks. When I get good quality rice, it seems that there's a greater chance I'll find something in it. I guess that most of the brown rice sold in bags in the grocery store doesn't have much debris, but it can't hurt to check!