I am currently participating in a workshare program on a local biodynamic farm. In exchange for my time and labor, I am given a large box of freshly harvested farm goodies. Since it’s so early in the season, I had a lot of greens, kale, chard, onions, and herbs. It’s easy to make a “throw everything in the pot” chicken and veggie soup, but we can get pretty burned out on that. As an alternative, this tangy, creamy, Greek soup is one of my favorites to make. It is thickened using eggs, which gives it a vitamin and protein boost and makes it much lighter than other creamy soups which are often thickened using cream, starches, or flour. The lemon/citrus flavor is unique and makes it a very refreshing dish. After ordering it every time we visited our favorite Greek restaurant, I decided to learn how to make it myself. I adjusted the recipe each time, and it has a lot of flexibility. Feel free to add in extra veggies at any step along the way.
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 small sweet onions, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Quarts Chicken Stock
1/2 Roast Chicken, shredded
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 bunch oregano, chopped finely
2 Cups orzo pasta (substitute rice if preferred)
1 bunch of hearty greens (kale, arugula, etc.) finely chopped
Juice from 4-6 Lemons (~ 1/2 – 1 Cup juice total)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. As butter starts to foam, add celery, garlic, and onions. Cook gently until just translucent/tender.
2) Add chicken stock, bring to a boil. Add chicken, oregano, and parsley. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing chicken to further tenderize and separate.
3) Add orzo pasta and the greens, cook until pasta is “al dente” for time specified on package (~9 minutes), then reduce heat to low.
4) In a separate bowl, seperate egg yolks from whites. Discard the whites or save for another recipe. Whisk the yolks together with the lemon juice until an even consistancy is acheived.
5) Turn the heat off on the soup and wait until no longer simmering/bubbling. Stir egg-lemon mixture into the soup pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Goes well with bread and a Greek salad (cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, onions, chopped celery, and mixed greens, in oil and vinegar with Mediterranean herbs)