Avgolémono - gives taste and texture to any soup
Nov 22, 2012
Avgolémono is the most characteristic Greek method to thicken a soup. I remember my grandmother's ritual when making an avgolémono soup. She used to claim that we should only stir the soup clockwise because stirring the opposite way would make the eggs curdle.
Thankfully things are not that complicated; you just have to mix the eggs very well, preferably with a mixer before adding lemon juice and gradually a cup of the hot stock (without stopping mixing as you add the stock). Once that is done, you return your avgolémono mixture back into the rest of the hot soup and you have a rich soup in both taste and texture. If avgolémono is made properly there is absolutely no egg flavor in your soup. Soups thickened with avgolémono should be served immediately, so always make it at the last minute, just before serving..
Apart from soups, the avgolémono method is used to give taste to other dishes such as chicken fricassee or lamb stew with greens.
Beef soup avgolémono
For the stock:
1000-1200 beef. Short ribs make very tasty stock.
2 onions quartered
3 carrots peeled and cut in big chunks
1 celery stalk chopped
3 litres of water
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
100gr round grain rice for soups
In a cooking pot over medium heat put the beef, carrots, celery, onions, water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Cook until the meat is tender, about 1-1 ½ hours or 20min in a pressure cooker. I prefer pressure cookers because they make great stocks while keep vitamins safe since they cook fast and under pressure; but with pressure cookers you should use ½ litre less water.
Transfer the meat and vegetables to a platter, drizzle with olive oil and lemon and keep warm since this will be served as the main course after the avgolémono soup.
Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Strain the stock through a fine sieve, into a clean pot and return it to the heat. Add the rice and cook until rice is cooked to your taste. Before turning off the heat, prepare and add the avgolémono to the soup
For the avgolémono :
2 whole eggs
juice from 2 lemons
In a heat proof bowl, beat the whole eggs gradually adding the lemon juice until it has completely incorporated. Gradually add a few tablespoons of hot stock from the pot to the egg mixture, stirring rapidly as you add it. This prevents curdling. Once that is done you can add the rest of the hot stock as you stir. Then return the mixture to the soup and boil for 30 seconds. Serve hot.