Egg Lemon Soup with Spinach


Looking for a nice cold remedy?  Chicken soup is an oldie but a goodie!  But how about shaking things up with a traditional Greek Egg Lemon Soup (Avgolemono).  Even better embellished with dill and some healthy shredded spinach!  

Egg Lemon Soup with spinach from above

Egg Lemon Soup with spinach from above

My husband has been suffering from a bad cold for the past week.  A fever of 102F. Sniffles. Even pink eye! 

So after a week of hot tea and vaporizers, it was time to call out the big guns–homemade soup!  Since the upcoming Easter holiday has me thinking of eggs (and I am one of three non-vegetarians on the planet who don’t like chicken soup), Egg Lemon Soup won the toss. 

Egg Lemon Soup Served

Egg Lemon Soup Served

Egg Lemon soup is a rich, thick, lemony soup containing rice or orzo pasta.  It is a traditional Greek dish that I first tasted in a childhood blessed with occasional Greek fine dining.  I feel lucky to have grown up at a time when bits of the “old country” were everywhere. Neighborhood grocers and local ethnic restaurants, with even Summerfest, Milwaukee’s rock music extravaganza, brining me onstage in kilt and ghillies, along with scores of other ethnic dancers.  

Egg Lemon Soup

Egg Lemon Soup with spinach

So it was fun and nostalgic to test this recipe, experimenting with different ratios of egg and lemon to get a soup that tasted like I remembered. I even got scientific on the thickening, bypassing the customary tempering that troubles many cooks (instead mixing my eggs with cool broth), then using a thermometer (just this once) while thickening.  (See here for the science behind going to approximately 165F.) 

Cook orzo for Egg Lemon Soup

Cook orzo for Egg Lemon Soup

Blend eggs with lemon and broth

Blend eggs with lemon and broth, then blend in hot broth and orzo

The soup was quick and easy–ready in about 15 minutes!  Yes, I would happily share a bed tray of this!

Julienned spinach for Egg Lemon Soup

Julienned spinach for Egg Lemon Soup

Finally, in my best “can I add another vegetable to this” tradition, I added some julienned spinach at the end.  This adds nutrition and has the side benefit of slowing the cooking when you’ve reached the proper temperature/thickness.  And if you are looking for a main course, feel free to add diced chicken! 

Egg Lemon Soup on table

Egg Lemon Soup on table

Egg Lemon Soup (Avgolemono)
Serves 2
Looking for a nice cold remedy? Traditional Egg Lemon Soup (Avgolemono) is a quick & tasty alternative to chicken soup--even healthier with julienned spinach.
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
120 calories
8 g
186 g
5 g
11 g
2 g
327 g
718 g
1 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 120
Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 186mg
Sodium 718mg
Total Carbohydrates 8g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 1g
Protein 11g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. • 2 cups chicken broth, divided (see note)
  2. • 1/4 cup uncooked orzo (or rice or other small pasta)
  3. • 2 large eggs
  4. • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
  5. • 1/2 teapsoon dried dill
  6. • 1 cup loosely packed julienned spinach (see note)
  7. • salt to taste (I used ¼ teaspoon with lightly salted homemade broth)
  1. Bring half of the broth (1 cup) to boil in saucepan. Add orzo (or rice) and simmer, covered, until just tender, about 8 minutes (longer for rice). Remove from heat.
  2. Lightly beat the egg, lemon juice and remaining broth together.
  3. Slowly pour the hot broth and orzo into the egg and broth mixture, whisking the entire time to avoid curdling. Return the mixture to the saucepan.
  4. Place saucepan back on medium heat, and stir continuously for about 5-10 minutes until soup is thickened (should reach about 160-165 F—do not boil).
  5. Remove from heat, stir in dill and julienned spinach, then let sit covered until spinach is just wilted, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt, dill or lemon as needed.
  6. Serve immediately.
  1. To julienne spinach easily, you can stack about 6 leaves, roll them up and slice the rolls.
  2. My homemade broth is extra rich/concentrated so I diluted it with water to ensure the egg and lemon flavors came through.
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  1. I heard so much about this soup, but never had a chance to try it…and yes, adding spinach sounds great…not only adds color as well as extra vegetables…
    Thanks for the recipe Inger…hope you are having a nice week 🙂

  2. I do hope your hubby is on the mend Inger. I sometimes wonder if Winter colds last longer than other seasons. Just wondering, lol…

    Well, yes, soup is an oldie for combating those under the weather days and Avgolemono soup is thee best!!! I haven’t had it in so many years because when I did it was usually prepared by a Greek family friend and I’ve always worried I wouldn’t do it justice.

    Fear no more I say and jump in spinach and all!!! Yours looks amazing. Kudos to you for tackling it in a “scientific” way.

    Thanks so much for sharing, Inger…I too feel lucky to have grown up in a very diverse neighborhood where everyone shared meals and recipes:)

    • Nice to hear you have fond memories of this soup too Louise! My husband is still not 100% though he’s improved. I think you are right about winter colds. I remember croaking like a frog until spring some years growing up!

  3. Well I like being traditional about recipes, the addition of dill and spinach sounds fantastic! I have to ask, did you get your rainbow orzo at the farmers market at a place called Paparadelle’s?

    • The rainbow orzo was in the bulk bin of our local health food store! It looked so cheery I was happy to buy it even though it violated my “whole wheat pasta” rule. It even had more vitamins since it was colored with vegetables–can’t argue with that!

  4. Inger I think I would love this soup. Look delicious !!!!

  5. The silky lemony egg soup sounds unique and tasty.

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  7. 102! yikes! i surely hope he’s feeling better by now! i don’t think i’ve ever seen eggs incorporated into soup like this, but then again, i’ve been sheltered! 🙂

  8. Absolutely scrumptious!

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