30 minutes

Avgolemono Soup with Orzo (Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)

Avgolemono Soup with Orzo, or Greek Lemon Chicken Soup, is a bright and comforting soup that is equally perfect in winter and summer. The creamy broth is light and fresh, but still cozy and satisfying. With lots of tender chicken and chewy orzo pasta, this soup will be a favorite for the whole family.

My family loves soup season, and typically we eat soup two or three nights a week throughout the winter. Usually, come spring, we transition to grilling and lots of fresh salads, leaving our favorite soup recipes behind until fall rolls back around. This soup is one of the exceptions. This easy avgolemono soup with orzo is a light, fresh, and cozy Greek soup that is equally at home on a cold night as it is in the heat of summer. 

With lots of fresh veggies, chewy orzo, and tender chicken, this cozy soup is hearty and satisfying. The lemon brightens the soup and the addition of fresh herbs makes it taste light and fresh. The velvety soup gets its creamy texture from the “avgolemono sauce” which is a mix of tempered egg yolks and lemon juice that gives the soup a luxurious cozy broth without making it overly rich or heavy. 

This classic Greek soup is unique and delicious, and has become my new comfort food. Give it a try tonight! For more delicious soup recipes, try my classic chicken noodle soupvegetable orzo minestrone, or roasted red pepper gouda soup. For other Mediterranean-inspired and greek recipes, try my Greek chicken meatballs or creamy loaded hummus dip

A ladle full of avgolemono soup, showing chicken, orzo and vegetables.

You Will Love This

  • Something new! This easy Greek chicken soup is a fun soup to try if you need a break from your classic chicken noodle. It’s equally cozy, but with a unique fresh lemon flavor that makes it stand out in the best way!
  • Quick and Easy: This soup is easy to prepare, and with quick-cooking orzo only takes about 30 minutes.
  • Comforting: There is nothing like a bowl of hot soup to warm you up on a cold winter day!

Ingredients

To make this lemon chicken orzo soup recipe, you need the following simple ingredients (exact measurements are in the recipe card below):

Ingredients for avgolemono with orzo on a marble background with text lable.

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken: I cooked chicken breasts in my crock pot for this recipe (chicken thighs would work too!). You could also use shredded rotisserie chicken for a quick weeknight solution.
  • Lemon: Make sure to use fresh lemon juice in this recipe. I used one whole lemon in my soup. Lemon is the star of the show in this recipe, and fresh lemon will have a brighter flavor than bottled lemon juice.
  • Orzo: You can substitute 1 cup of white rice in this recipe in place of the orzo pasta. The rice will take longer to cook, so you should let the soup simmer 15-20 minutes, rather than the 10-12 minutes called for in the recipe.
  • Fresh herbs: A sprinkle of fresh herbs on top of the soup is totally optional, but does brighten it up, especially in the summer! I love fresh dill, fresh basil, or fresh parsley with this soup.
  • Eggs: You only need the egg yolks for this recipe, not whole eggs. Save the egg whites for a breakfast scramble!

Instructions

Step One: Heat the olive oil in a large pot or large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until softened and translucent. Add the carrots and celery, and cook for a couple of minutes more.

A large soup pot with sautéed onions.
A large pot filled with sautéed onions. Celery and carrot are on top of the onions, not yet mixed together.

Step Two: Season the vegetables with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper, basil, and minced garlic, and stir well to combine.

A large pot filled with sautéed onions, celery and carrot topped with garlic and herbs.

Step Three: Add the orzo and cooked chicken to the pot with the chicken broth. Bring the soup to a low simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the orzo is cooked al dente. 

A large pot filled with sautéed onions, celery and carrot topped with cooked chicken and orzo.
A large pot of chicken orzo soup on a marble background.

Step Four: While the soup is simmering, temper the eggs. Add the egg yolks and lemon juice to a small bowl and whisk thoroughly. Remove a cup of the hot broth from the soup. Very slowly drizzle the hot broth into the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly. Repeat with a second cup of broth. 

Top Tip: Adding the hot broth to the eggs slowly in a separate bowl tempers the eggs. This heats the eggs in a controlled manner, which makes them thick and creamy. If you skip tempering the eggs and just add them straight to the soup, they will heat up too quickly and scramble, taking on a consistency like egg drop soup.

A glass bowl of separated egg yolks in lemon juice on a marble background. A bowl of hot broth with herbs is to the side.
A glass bowl of tempered eggs dotted with herbs on a marbled background.

Step Five: Slowly add the tempered egg-lemon mixture into the soup pot, stirring constantly until the soup is fully combined and creamy. Remove the soup from the heat. 

A large pot of creamy yellow soup on a marble background.

Step Six: Add the baby spinach to the soup and stir it in until wilted. Taste the soup and season with the additional ½ teaspoon salt, to taste. 

A large pot of creamy soup topped with fresh baby spinach on a marble background.
A large pot of avgolemono soup with orzo on a marble background.

Storage

Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The pasta may soak up more of the broth during storage, so you may need to add a few tablespoons more of chicken broth when reheating to reconstitute the soup. 

A white bowl of avgolemono soup with orzo on a grey background. The soup is garnished with two fresh lemon slices.

Avgolemono Soup with Orzo (Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)

Avgolemono Soup with Orzo, or Greek Lemon Chicken Soup, is a bright and comforting soup that is equally perfect in winter and summer. The creamy broth is light and fresh, but still cozy and satisfying. With lots of tender chicken and chewy orzo pasta, this soup will be a favorite for the whole family.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Greek
Servings 6 servings
Calories 277 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided (to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup dry orzo pasta
  • 1 lb cooked and shredded chicken
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 ounces baby spinach a few large handfuls

Instructions
 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until softened and translucent. Add the carrots and celery, and cook for a couple of minutes more.
  • Season the vegetables with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper, basil, and minced garlic, and stir well to combine.
  • Add the orzo and cooked chicken to the pot with the chicken broth. Bring the soup to a low simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the orzo is cooked al dente.
  • While the soup is simmering, temper the eggs. Add the egg yolks and lemon juice to a small bowl and whisk thoroughly. Remove a cup of the hot broth from the soup. Very slowly drizzle the hot broth into the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly. Repeat with a second cup of broth.
  • Slowly add the tempered egg-lemon mixture into the soup pot, stirring constantly until the soup is fully combined and creamy. Remove the soup from the heat.
  • Add the baby spinach to the soup and stir it in until wilted. Taste the soup and season with the additional ½ teaspoon salt, to taste.

Notes

Top Tip: Adding the hot broth to the eggs slowly in a separate bowl tempers the eggs. This heats the eggs in a controlled manner, which makes them thick and creamy. If you skip tempering the eggs and just add them straight to the soup, they will heat up too quickly and scramble, taking on a consistency like egg drop soup.
Storage and reheating: Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The pasta may soak up more of the broth during storage, so you may need to add a few tablespoons more of chicken broth when reheating to reconstitute the soup. 
Substitutions: You can substitute 1 cup of white rice in this recipe in place of the orzo pasta. The rice will take longer to cook, so you should let the soup simmer 15-20 minutes, rather than the 10-12 minutes called for in the recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 277kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 24gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 1682mgPotassium: 662mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 7037IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 2mg
Keyword avgolemono, avgolemono with orzo, greek lemon chicken soup, lemon chicken soup with orzo
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