Egg Lemon Soup with Spinach

Looking for a unique comfort food? Greek Egg Lemon Soup (Avgolemono) is a quick & tasty alternative to chicken soup–especially with added spinach for more nutrition!  Looking for a unique comfort food? Greek Egg Lemon Soup (Avgolemono) is a quick & tasty alternative to chicken soup--especially with added spinach for more nutrition! 

Welcome to #LemonWeek 2022 hosted by Lynn from Fresh April Flours and Rebecca from Devour Dinner.  This week is sponsored by Rodelle and La Tourangelle. I may have received product samples from these sponsors to help in the creation of my recipes. All opinions are my own. Come join me and my fellow Lemon Week bloggers as we bring you recipes from appetizers to drinks to entrées and desserts! 

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I have a confession. I am one of two (non-vegetarian) people on this planet who don’t like chicken soup. Sadly, for me, it’s not that exciting.

But what if there were a chicken soup that’s just as warming and comfort filled–but a little more robust in the flavor department?

A past favorite is my Sage Roasted Chicken Soup, a creamy soup with a flavor boost from the sage (think Thanksgiving stuffing)!

And today I am making my Greek Egg Lemon Soup again. Because it’s amazing how much a little egg and lemon can punch up a soup! The broth becomes thicker and silkier and the flavor is rich and complex!  Looking for a unique comfort food? Greek Egg Lemon Soup (Avgolemono) is a quick & tasty alternative to chicken soup--especially with added spinach for more nutrition! 

What is Egg Lemon Soup and Why Did You Add Spinach?

According to Wikipedia  “Avgolemono or egg–lemon is a family of sauces and soups made with egg yolk and lemon juice mixed with broth, heated until they thicken. They are found in Greek, Arab, Sephardic Jewish, Turkish, Balkan and Jewish-Italian cuisine.”

I was lucky to have a childhood full of delicious ethnic foods. A favorite memory is the time my parents spontaneously decided they needed Greek food for dinner–before the days of the ubiquitous Greek Restaurant. They packed us up and drove from the suburbs into the city where we landed at a Greek grocer. It was so much fun!  And seriously tasty!

But on to the spinach. One of the questions I like to ask when I cook is “Can I add a vegetable to this?” I’ve been counting my “5-a-day” servings of fruits and vegetables for decades, err years and am always happy when I find an easy way to get another one in! So I added spinach, which is used a lot in Greek cooking and is delicious in this soup!

Looking for a unique comfort food? Greek Egg Lemon Soup (Avgolemono) is a quick & tasty alternative to chicken soup--especially with added spinach for more nutrition! 

Why You’ll Love This!

Flavorful. The Greeks topped lots of dishes with Egg Lemon sauce because it is delicious! If it works as a sauce, think how good it must be as a soup!

Healthy and Comforting. You get the comfort and goodness of chicken soup in a new format. Plus the addition of healthy spinach!

Easy. There are some recipes that cook a whole raw chicken with this.  But mine relies on pre-cooked broth and chicken so is quicker and easier. I even have a workaround for tempering the eggs! (Tempering is adding eggs to hot liquid and whisking like a madman hoping they won’t curdle.) Really, there’s an easier way.

Greek Egg Lemon Soup with wine and cheese

What You’ll Need

Ingredients

  • Chicken broth.  This is the base of the soup. You can use vegetable broth (and omit the chicken) to make a vegetarian Egg Lemon Soup.
  • Orzo or rice.  This provides texture and the starch adds some thickening.  I made my Greek Lemon Soup with Rice this time but I’ve also used Orzo.
  • Cut up cooked chicken. This adds flavor, texture and protein.  This can be omitted for a Vegetarian soup or to make a lighter soup.
  • Lemon juice.  I strongly recommend fresh for the best flavor. 
  • 4 eggs.  This thickens the soup.
  • Dried dill.   This adds flavor and you can use fresh if you have it.
  • Julienned spinach.  Ups the health value–and I think it looks and tastes good!

Special Tools

  • No special tools are required, though an instant read thermometer is nice to have.

Step by Step Directions

In a medium saucepan, cook the brown rice or orzo in 1 cup of chicken broth until just tender.  This will take about 10 minutes for orzo and about 35 minutes for natural brown rice.  For processed rice times, consult the packaging.  When tender, remove from the heat and stir the chicken into the saucepan. 

Cook rice or orzo

Beat the eggs, then whisk in the remaining 3 cups of broth and the lemon juice.  Stir the egg mixture into the saucepan with the chicken and rice.

Beat eggs with lemon juice and broth

Place the saucepan back on medium heat and stir until thickened, about 10 minutes.  If you have an instant read thermometer, you can check for a temperature of 165F.  When thickened, add the julienned spinach and dill, cover and let sit for about 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted.

Add julienned spinachServe and enjoy!

How to Serve

A small bowl or cup of this soup would make an excellent first course since it’s not too heavy. You can omit the chicken for a lighter soup and it will still be delicious.

Of course, for a nice lunch, there is always the classic combinations of soup and (half or whole) sandwich.

It even makes an excellent main course soup since it has chicken, rice or pasta and even a vegetable right. In that case a basket of muffins or a loaf of crusty bread or is a wonderful accompaniment. Perhaps with some cheese.

Feel free to add a salad like this farm inspired Greek Salad  to any of these options. 

Looking for a unique comfort food? Greek Egg Lemon Soup (Avgolemono) is a quick & tasty alternative to chicken soup--especially with added spinach for more nutrition! 

Variations

This soup is easy to convert to vegetarian. Just use a flavorful vegetable broth and omit the chicken.

Or if you simply want a lighter soup, you can also skip the chicken.

Out of spinach? I used kale when there the farmer’s market was out of spinach. If you do use kale, add it with the chicken since it needs more time to tenderize.

And if you’d rather have an egg lemon soup with beef—in the form of meatballs even, take a look at my seriously delicious Greek Meatballs in Egg Lemon Broth.

Egg Lemon Soup with Spinach

Leftovers

This will keep for a few days in your refrigerator. When you reheat it, just be sure that it doesn’t come to a boil because the egg can still curdle. You can heat it on the stovetop, stirring periodically until just hot. To reheat in the microwave, heat in bursts and stir in between or the soup may boil and curdle around the edges of the bowl.

I’ve never tried freezing this but have read that it freezes well. As with refrigerated soup, care must be taken in reheating to see that the soup doesn’t boil.

Tips and FAQs

I usually use an instant read thermometer and heat the soup to 165 F. This is the temperature at which a whole egg is cooked. Learn more about how an egg cooks (whites vs yolks, etc.) here!

Looking for a unique comfort food? Greek Egg Lemon Soup (Avgolemono) is a quick & tasty alternative to chicken soup--especially with added spinach for more nutrition! 

Monday #LemonWeek Recipes

Greek Egg Lemon Soup

Egg lemon Soup (Avgolemono) with Spinach

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Looking for a unique comfort food? Greek Egg Lemon Soup (Avgolemono) is a quick & tasty alternative to chicken soup--with added spinach for more nutrition! 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1/3 cup Orzo or ¼ cup rice
  • 1 ½ cups chicken cubes
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 cups julienned spinach

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, cook the brown rice or orzo in 1 cup of chicken broth until just tender. This will take about 10 minutes for orzo and about 35 minutes for natural brown rice. For processed rice times, consult the packaging.

When tender, remove from the heat and stir the chicken into the rice or orzo and broth.
Beat the eggs, then whisk in the remaining 3 cups of broth and the lemon juice. Stir the egg mixture into the saucepan with the chicken and rice.

Place the saucepan back on medium heat and stir until thickened, about 10 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer, you can check for a temperature of 165F.

Add the julienned spinach and dill, cover and let sit for about 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted.

Serve and enjoy!

Notes

If you use kale instead of spinach, add it with the chicken.

Check out the amazing prizes you can win in our #LemonWeek Giveaway!

Prize #1: Rodelle Prize Pack

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          • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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Terms and conditions: This #LemonWeek is sponsored by Rodelle and La Tourangelle which starts 5/23/2022 and ends 6/3/2022 at 11:59pm ET. Enter to win a prize pack from Rodelle or La Tourangelle that include baking and cooking ingredients. This giveaway is open to anyone 18 years or older in the United States. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Two (2) winners will be selected and sent prize packages directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #LemonWeek bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #LemonWeek posts or entry.

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34 thoughts on “Egg Lemon Soup with Spinach

  1. Kathleen

    I am with you, not a huge fan of chicken noodle soup, traditional, but add a splash of cream, lemon and egg — yes please! Love the Mediterranean flavors!

  2. Grace

    It’s freezing where I live and this soup sounds so delicious. Thanks for sharing a great recipe

    1. Inger Post author

      You are most welcome Grace. It’s not freezing here and this still tasted good–though we especially love it in cold and flu season!

  3. Katherine

    I copied the ingredient list and sent it DH, who was conveniently located at the grocery store.

    I know what I am having for dinner tonight.

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  5. grace

    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! 🙂

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  7. David

    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?

    1. Inger Post author

      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!

  8. Louise

    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:)

    1. Inger Post author

      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!

  9. Juliana

    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 🙂

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