Known as Avgolemono in Greece and Aarshe Saak in the Middle East, this tangy velvety soup is a staple at many meals. Aarshe Saak typically has small meatballs in it, while Avgolemono traditionally has rice and no meat. However, there are many regional and personal variations, and this is mine. This version I came up with has has chicken and spinach/mushrooms to make it more filling. Feel free to omit these ingredients or experiment! Note: I always "eyeball" quantities when I cook, so these amounts may not be perfectly exact- always adjust quantities to taste :)
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 -2 garlic clove, minced
- 2 -3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 -2 tablespoon turmeric (or to taste)
- 1 cup cooked chicken, diced finely (approximately)
- 5 -6 cups water (preferably broth) or 5 -6 cups chicken broth (preferably broth)
- 1⁄2 cup rice (short-grain is best)
- couple handfuls spinach leaves, washed and chopped
- 1 cup mushroom, chopped
- 1⁄4-1⁄3 cup cornstarch (amount may vary)
- 2 lemons, juice of
- 2 -4 eggs, beaten
- salt, pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a saucepan. Chop the onion finely, and add it along with the garlic. When the onions are translucent, add the turmeric (it will look like a lot, but have no fear!). Add the chicken, and stir around until well blended. Add the water or chicken stock.
- Bring to a boil, and add the rice. Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring very gently once or twice.
- Remove cover, add the chopped vegetables, cook for about 5 minutes longer. Dissolve the cornstarch in some cold water (to prevent clumps), and slowly add it to the soup, mixing well. Add the lemon. Heat for another 5-10 minutes on medium heat-- if it is too thin, you can add some more cornstarch.
- Now for the fun part! Remove the saucepan from heat. In a bowl, beat the eggs together very well. SLOWLY pour the eggs into the soup, whisking very quickly with a fork (if you are too slow stirring or dump the eggs in too fast, you will end up with something akin to egg-drop soup!). After all the eggs are in the soup, continue whisking for a few minutes. If you get it right the first time, the soup should be very yellow and have a velvety texture.
- Season with salt/pepper, taste and adjust the lemon juice or water amounts if needed. Garnish with mint, dill or lemon wedges (if desired) and serve!