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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Avgolemeno Soup

Everyone has heard that chicken soup is good for you when you are sick.  Every country has their own version of chicken soup.  My favorite, of course, is the Greek Avgolemeno soup.  There is nothing more satisfying and comforting of the chicken soup that my mom made so well.  It's really quite simple to make and simplicity is the reason that it tastes so good.  For the past few days, I have had a temperature of over 100F.  Dragging around with very little energy, sore throat, and feeling "blah" (as my mom used to say).  The thought of anything spicy or sweet is so unappealing to me right now.  Imagine that!! Me not wanting anything sweet.  I try and have homemade stock in the freezer, but since Fall started, I've not made my supply of beef and chicken stock.  The little stock containers by Knorr will have to do in a pinch.  With quick stock, one can make this soup in no time at all.  Even though a bit tiring to make when one is not feeling well, the results are well worth the time spent.  This can be made in practically the amount of time it takes for the rice to cook.  It would be even faster if I used the microwaveable pouches that cook in 90 seconds! On second thought, it's the cooking of the rice in the broth that helps thicken the soup.... My son, the chemistry major, would be proud that I knew that about rice and starch.  

Here was my speedy soup version....

6 cups of water to 2 containers of condensed chicken stock (usually 1 container per 3 1/2 cups water, but I'm a rebel and don't follow directions).  

Bring stock to a boil with the juice of one lemon.

Add 1/2 cup medium grain rice and cook for 15-20 minutes until rice is tender

In a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs (an immersion blender works great)  To the eggs add some of the hot broth a little at the time so that the eggs will not curdle.  Keep adding the broth until you have at least 2 cups of mixture (that's just what I do).  Put the egg mixture back into the pot over very low heat.  Stir gently for several minutes until the soup thickens.  Do not allow the soup to boil, or the eggs will curdle.

It's as simple as that......Salt and pepper are all tat is needed.  Oh, and more lemon if desired.  Many people add pasta, celery, garlic, and onion to their soup.  Me, I just keep it simple.  I did add carrots one time as I had an abundance of them in my refrigerator.  

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Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar