Ελλινικό Φαγητό

Greek lemon Chicken Soup recipe (Kotosoupa Avgolemono)

8 servings


10 minutes

active time

1 hour 40 minutes

total time


1 chicken (1-1.2 kg/ 35-40 ounces)

1 red onion, peeled

5 cups (1.2 L) of water

150-200g short-grain rice, like Arborio (6-7 ounces)

2 large eggs

juice of 1 lemon

2 carrots (optional)

salt and freshly ground pepper


To prepare this traditional Greek lemon chicken soup, place your chicken in a deep pot. Push the chicken with your hands down to the bottom of the pan, add the whole onion, the carrot, pour in the water and season. The water should be enough to cover the chicken. Place on high heat, put the lid on and bring to the boil.

When the chicken starts to boil, turn the heat down and boil the chicken for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The chicken is ready when the meat can be removed easily from the bones. While the chicken boils, some white foam will probably surface on the water. Remove the foam with a slotted spoon.

Proceed to pre soak your rice. While the chicken is cooking, rinse your rice and add it in a bowl and cover it with some water. Let it stand for 30 minutes. Using a fine colander, drain the water and set aside.

Remove the chicken from the broth and strain the broth. You should have about 1 litre of broth left. If it has reduced a lot, add some water. Add the hot broth in another pot, add the rice and season with salt and pepper and boil, until done.

While the rice is being cooked, prepare your chicken. Pull the chicken meat from the bones and discard the skin. Shred the meat into bite sized chunks.

To prepare the egg lemon sauce for this Greek lemon chicken soup, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk, until foamy; add the lemon juice and whisk again. Add into the bowl a ladle of hot soup and whisk quickly. Add one more ladle and whisk again, so that the eggs gradually warm up and cook gently. Pour the egg mixture back into the pot, whilst constantly stirring so your eggs do not curdle. Then put the lid on and set it aside for 3-4 minutes.

To assemble and serve your chicken soup, ladle the soup into your bowls, top with the diced chicken and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper or paprika. Enjoy!


How to avoid the most common Chicken Egg-Lemon soup mistakes

The most common mistake is that the Avgolemono curdles and gets lumpy. Here are some tips to help you achieve the desired creamy texture for your Greek lemon chicken soup:

- The eggs should be at room temperature, so that they are not shocked and curdle from the hot broth

- The soup should be warm but not boiling hot. When you are done cooking your soup remove the pan from the stove and let it cool for 5-10 minutes or add 1/2 a cup of cold water to halt the boiling process

- You need to add enough broth so that the egg mixture is at the same temperature as the broth of the dish you are preparing

- The egg whites are more likely to curdle, as they tend to thicken up more quickly than the egg yolks when warmed so be sure to whisk vigorously and add the broth slowly. For more extensive tips and tricks take a look at my how to make the perfect Avgolemono article.

Should you pre-soak the rice?

Yes you want to pre-soak the rice. It helps the rice cook more quickly and uniformly. Why? Because soaking your rice in water allows the grain to absorb water ahead of cooking. It also hydrates the rice seeds and makes them swell. As the rice is hydrated before cooking it, it results in a fluffier rice!

To prepare the rice, rinse it a couple of times first to remove any excess starch. Then pour it in a bowl and add enough water to cover it and let it stand for around 30 minutes or until the grain of rice breaks easily when pressed.


Serving Size

1 bowl



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8 servings


10 minutes

active time

1 hour 40 minutes

total time
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