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Greek Chicken Soup Recipe – A Mediterranean Cuisine

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Embark on a culinary odyssey with our Greek Chicken Soup, a heavenly brew of tender chicken, orzo pasta, and zesty lemon. This soul-warming concoction is a celebration of Mediterranean flavors, with fresh herbs and a touch of olive oil adding an aromatic richness. The soup is beautifully balanced by the brightness of lemon, creating a harmonious dance of savory and citrus on your palate. Each spoonful promises a comforting embrace and a taste of Grecian sunshine, transporting you to Aegean shores with its delightful charm.

Immerse yourself in a world of bold flavors, a culinary journey steeped in ancient traditions with our Greek Chicken Soup Recipe. This comforting bowlful, brimming with tender chicken, aromatic herbs, and lemony undertones, beckons the heart of Mediterranean cuisine into your kitchen. 

Greek Chicken Soup Recipe

Unveil the balance secret in each spoonful as heart-healthy ingredients blend with an enticing burst of spices. Dazzle your senses as you savor the rich, wholesome broth, evoking the sun-kissed landscapes of Greece

A simple yet profound recipe, it mirrors the simplicity and profundity of life itself. Let’s traverse borders, one bowl at a time.

Discover the magic of this Mediterranean elixir, a testament to Greece’s vibrant culinary narrative. 

Enrich your repertoire and indulge in this timeless journey to wellness, a radiant beacon of home-cooked affection.

Here’s to vibrant health and flavorful adventures—our Greek Chicken Soup awaits.

What Is Greek Chicken Soup?

Greek Chicken Soup, also known as Avgolemono, is a heartwarming dish from the Mediterranean. It starts with a classic chicken broth enriched with tender chicken pieces. 

The distinguishing factor is the addition of a beaten egg-lemon mixture, whisked in to create a creamy, tangy soup without the use of cream.

Grains like rice or orzo are often added for a satisfying bite. Garnished with fresh herbs like dill or parsley, this Greek Chicken Soup is comforting, flavorful, and healthful.

Greek Chicken Soup

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients? 

The Avgolemono soup recipe can be modified to fit various dietary preferences:

  • Keto: Substitute the rice or orzo with low-carb alternatives like cauliflower rice or spiralized zucchini.
  • Paleo: Use cauliflower rice instead of regular rice or orzo. Also, ensure that the chicken stock you use is paleo-friendly.
  • Gluten-Free: Replace the orzo with a gluten-free grain like quinoa or use gluten-free pasta. If you prefer using rice, ensure it’s a gluten-free variety.
  • Whole30: Skip the rice or orzo and add more chicken or vegetables. Ensure your chicken broth is Whole30 compliant.
  • Vegetarian: Replace the chicken and chicken broth with vegetable broth, and add more vegetables for substance. The egg-lemon mixture remains the same.
  • Vegan: Substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth, and add hearty vegetables like chickpeas for protein. The egg-lemon mixture uses a plant-based creamer mixed with lemon and turmeric to mimic the creamy texture and color.
Greek Chicken Soup

Recipe Directions 

  • Sauté Onion and Garlic: Over medium-low heat, sauté onion in olive oil until soft, then add garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Prepare Broth Mixture: Stir in broth, lemon zest, chicken, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add Couscous and Seasonings: Incorporate couscous, pepper, and salt. Simmer for another 5 minutes until the couscous is tender.
  • Shred Chicken and Add Final Ingredients: Remove and shred chicken, then return to saucepan with chives and feta cheese.
  • Season and Serve: Adjust seasoning to taste, stir well, and serve hot, enjoying a blend of flavors that embody the warmth of Greek cuisine.
Greek Chicken Soup

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

  • Variations: For a nutritious spin, try different grains like quinoa or farro instead of couscous. You can also use different types of meat like turkey or even fish.
  • Add-Ons: Add the vegetable content by adding spinach, kale, or peas. For an extra protein punch, toss in some white beans or chickpeas.
  • Toppings: A sprinkle of fresh herbs like dill, mint, or parsley can add flavor. Top with extra feta cheese for a richer taste.
  • Vegan Version: Use vegetable broth, replace chicken with hearty vegetables or tofu, and create a creamy texture with coconut cream and lemon juice.
  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free grains like rice or quinoa or gluten-free pasta.
  • Spicy Kick: If you prefer some heat, add a spoonful of red chili flakes or a dash of hot sauce.
  • Fresh Finish: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before serving can brighten the flavors. A drizzle of good-quality olive oil can enhance the taste and give a glossy finish.
Greek Chicken Soup

Can I Make Greek Chicken Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Greek Chicken Soup can be made in a slow cooker and an Instant Pot, making it even more convenient to prepare. Here’s how you can adapt the recipe for both appliances:

Slow Cooker

  • Sauté the Vegetables: You can sauté the onions and garlic in a pan on the stovetop before adding them to the slow cooker, or use a slow cooker with a sauté function if available.
  • Add Ingredients: Place the chicken, broth, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes into the slow cooker.
  • Cook: Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • Shred Chicken: Remove the chicken, shred it, and return it to the pot.
  • Add Couscous: Stir in couscous, pepper, salt, chives, and feta cheese and cook on high for another 15-20 minutes or until the couscous is tender.
  • Season and Serve: Adjust seasoning and serve hot.

Instant Pot

  • Sauté the Vegetables: Use the sauté function to cook the onions and garlic in olive oil until softened.
  • Add Ingredients: Broth, lemon zest, chicken, and red pepper flakes.
  • Pressure Cook: Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  • Natural Release: Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then use a quick release for any remaining pressure.
  • Shred Chicken: Remove the chicken, shred it, and return it to the pot.
  • Add Couscous: Stir in couscous, pepper, salt, chives, and feta cheese, then use the sauté function to cook for 5 minutes or until the couscous is tender.
  • Season and Serve: Adjust seasoning to taste and serve hot.
Greek Chicken Soup

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Depending on your preferences, time constraints, and desired flavor complexity, you can use either store-bought or homemade broth for Greek Chicken Soup. Here’s a comparison to help you decide:

Store-Bought Broth

  • Convenience: Ideal when you’re short on time or want quicker preparation.
  • Variety: Available in different types, such as low-sodium, organic, or bone broth.
  • Flavor: Generally good but might need more depth and character of homemade broth.
  • Tip: Look for high-quality brands with minimal additives and preservatives for the best flavor.

Homemade Broth

  • Flavor Complexity: Making your broth allows you to tailor the flavors exactly to your liking, and it often has a richer and more nuanced taste.
  • Freshness: Freshly made broth lacks the preservatives found in store-bought versions.
  • Time-Consuming: Requires time to prepare and cook, although it can be made in large batches and frozen for later use.
  • Cost-Effective: Often more economical, especially if made from leftover chicken bones and vegetable scraps.
Greek Chicken Soup

How To Serve?

Serving Greek Chicken Soup thoughtfully enhances the dining experience. Here’s how to serve it best:

  • Use Warm Bowls: Serving soup in pre-warmed bowls keeps it hot for longer. You can warm them in a low oven or by filling them with hot water for a few minutes (then emptying) before serving.
  • Garnish Thoughtfully: A sprinkle of fresh herbs, lemon zest, or extra feta cheese can add color and flavor. Consider what will complement the flavors of your soup.
  • Offer Fresh Bread: A fresh crusty bread or pita can be perfect for dipping. Offering whole-grain or gluten-free options can cater to different dietary needs.
  • Include Side Dishes: If the soup is the main course, consider serving it with a side salad or roasted vegetables to round out the meal.
  • Adjust Seasoning at the Table: Provide salt, pepper, and perhaps a little extra red pepper flakes or olive oil for guests to season their servings to taste.
  • Serve with a Spoon and Fork: A spoon is essential for soup, but a fork can be helpful if you’ve included large pieces of chicken or vegetables that might need cutting.
  • Consider Dietary Restrictions: If you know your guests’ dietary needs, you can tailor the garnishes, sides, and seasoning options.
  • Serve at the Right Temperature: Greek Chicken Soup should be served hot but not scalding. Allow it to cool for a minute after ladling it into the bowls.
  • Use Appropriate Bowls: Choose bowls deep enough to hold the soup comfortably but broad enough to showcase its beautiful ingredients.
  • Offer Beverage Pairings: Consider what drinks might go well with the soup, such as white wine, sparkling water with lemon, or herbal tea, depending on the occasion and guests’ preferences.
Greek Chicken Soup

Perfect Side Dishes

  • Greek Salad: A fresh Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, and a lemon-oregano dressing echoes the flavors in the soup.
  • Pita Bread: Warm pita bread, possibly served with hummus or tzatziki, is a comforting addition perfect for dipping.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Seasonal grilled or roasted vegetables drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with herbs can add both color and nutrition.
  • Spanakopita: These spinach and feta stuffed pastry triangles are a flavorful Greek classic that could add texture to the meal.
  • Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmades): Serve these tasty stuffed grape leaves filled with rice and herbs for an authentic touch.
  • Olive and Cheese Platter: A selection of Greek olives, cheeses, nuts, or dried fruits can make a pleasant appetizer or side.
  • Couscous Salad: A light couscous salad with fresh herbs, lemon, and vegetables can reinforce the flavors used in the soup.
  • Roasted Lemon Potatoes: Greek-style roasted potatoes with lemon, garlic, and herbs can add a hearty side dish that harmonizes with the soup’s flavors.
  • Steamed Asparagus with Lemon: Lightly steamed asparagus with a touch of lemon zest can provide a bright and fresh contrast to the soup.
  • Fresh Fruit Platter: For something lighter, a platter of fresh Mediterranean fruits like figs, grapes, and melons can be a refreshing side.
  • Whole Grain Rolls or Bread: If you prefer a more neutral side, offering whole grain rolls or bread with high-quality olive oil for dipping can suit the meal.
  • Wine and Cheese Pairing: If the occasion calls for it, a carefully selected Greek wine with complimentary cheeses could elevate the meal to a gourmet experience.
  • Rice Pilaf: A mildly seasoned rice pilaf with hints of lemon and herbs can be another comforting addition.
Greek Chicken Soup

Storage And Make Ahead 

  • Cool and Store: After cooking, let the soup cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Store it in airtight containers to maintain freshness and prevent absorption of other flavors from the fridge. It can be kept for up to 3-4 days.
  • Separate Components for Freezing: If you plan to freeze the soup, consider storing the broth and chicken separately from the Avgolemono sauce (lemon-egg mixture) to maintain the best texture. The broth and chicken can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Make-Ahead Broth: Prepare the chicken broth and meat ahead of time. The broth can be refrigerated or frozen, and the chicken shredded and stored separately. This makes the final soup preparation quicker and easier.
  • Reheat Gently: When reheating, do so gently over low heat to prevent the eggs in the Avgolemono sauce from curdling. If the soup has been frozen without the Avgolemono sauce, prepare a fresh batch of the sauce and combine it with the reheated broth for the best flavor.
  • Refresh the Flavor: Before serving, refresh the soup with an extra squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh dill or parsley to brighten the flavors, making it taste just as good as when it was freshly made.
Greek Chicken Soup

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

Leftovers of Greek Chicken Soup can be creatively repurposed to reduce waste and enjoy a tasty meal:

  • Reheat and Serve: Reheat and enjoy the soup as-is, perhaps with a new garnish or side dish for variety.
  • Create a New Soup: Blend the leftovers with tomatoes or cream, and add new herbs and spices to create a new flavor profile.
  • Make a Casserole: Mix the soup with cooked rice or pasta, top with cheese, and bake for a quick casserole.
  • Use as a Sauce: Reduce the soup on the stovetop and use it as a sauce over grilled chicken or vegetables.
  • Fill a Wrap or Pita: Shred some of the chicken and vegetables, and use them as a filling for wraps or pita bread, adding a fresh salad.
  • Add to a Salad: Cool the soup and mix with fresh greens for a hearty salad.
  • Freeze for Later: If you have a substantial amount left, freeze it for later use.

TIPS

  • Use Quality Chicken: Start with a whole chicken or bone-in pieces for the richest broth. The bones add depth and complexity to the soup’s base.
  • Simmer Gently: Cook the chicken on a gentle simmer. Boiling too vigorously can lead to a cloudy broth and tough meat.
  • Skim the Broth: Regularly skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface during the initial cooking. This ensures a clearer broth, which is the foundation of a good Avgolemono.
  • Enrich with Eggs: The Avgolemono sauce (egg-lemon mixture) is what sets this soup apart. Whisk the eggs until frothy before slowly incorporating the lemon juice, then temper with hot broth before adding to the soup to prevent curdling.
  • Avoid Boiling After Adding Eggs: Once the Avgolemono sauce is added, do not let the soup boil. Heat gently until it’s just hot enough to serve. Boiling can cause the eggs to curdle, affecting the texture.
  • Season Properly: Season the soup with salt and pepper at the end of cooking to adjust the flavor perfectly. The chicken and lemon will influence the soup’s overall taste, so it’s best to season after these flavors have melded.
  • Use Fresh Lemon Juice: The brightness of fresh lemon juice cannot be matched by bottled varieties. It’s essential for achieving the authentic taste of Avgolemono.
Greek Chicken Soup Recipe - A Mediterranean Cuisine

Greek Chicken Soup Recipe – A Mediterranean Cuisine

0 from 0 votes
Course: Soup Recipes
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

275

kcal

Greek Chicken Soup is a comforting blend of tender chicken, aromatic lemon zest, couscous, and savory feta cheese, simmered to perfection. This soup is a heartwarming taste of Mediterranean cuisine.

Ingredients

  • 2 2 Chicken Breasts, Boneless And Skinless

  • Cup Chives, Chopped

  • 2 Ounces 2 Feta Cheese, Crumbled

  • ½ Teaspoons ½ Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

  • 1 Cup 1 Israeli Couscous

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 Lemon Zest

  • 1 1 White Onion, Chopped

  • 8 8 Garlic Cloves, Minced

  • 3 Tablespoons 3 Olive Oil

  • 10 Cups 10 Chicken Broth

  • Salt And Pepper (To Taste)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Warm olive oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepan.
  • Add onion to the pan, sautéing for 5 minutes until it softens.
  • Incorporate garlic into the mixture, allowing it to sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Pour the broth, then add lemon zest, chicken pieces, and red pepper flakes. Stir well.
  • Gradually increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and let the soup simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Introduce couscous, pepper, and salt into the broth, mixing well.
  • Continue simmering for another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  • Carefully remove the chicken from the saucepan, and shred it using a fork.
  • Reintroduce the shredded chicken to the soup, supplementing it with chives and feta cheese.
  • Give the soup a final season with pepper and salt according to your taste.
  • Stir the soup well once more to distribute all ingredients evenly.
  • Serve the Greek Chicken Soup piping hot, and enjoy its comforting warmth. For a different twist, try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil just before serving.
  • EQUIPMENT LIST
  • Large Saucepan or Stockpot
  • Wooden Spoon or Silicone Spatula
  • Chef’s Knife and Cutting Board
  • Zester or Microplane Grater
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Two Forks or Meat Shredder
  • Ladle
  • Strainer
  • Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Notes

  • Chicken Selection: You can use chicken thighs instead of breasts for a richer flavor. If using pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken, adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Couscous Substitute: Israeli couscous can be replaced with regular or even rice. If gluten-free, try using quinoa.
  • Adjusting Heat: The red pepper flakes add a touch of heat. Feel free to increase or decrease to match your spice preference.
  • Herbs and Flavor: Fresh chives lend a gentle flavor, but other herbs like dill or parsley can be used. Lemon zest adds a bright note but can be adjusted to taste.
  • Feta Cheese: Crumbled feta gives a tangy twist but can be omitted or replaced with other soft cheese if preferred.
  • Broth Options: Homemade broth will enhance the flavor, but store-bought works well too. For a vegetarian version, vegetable broth can be used.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season to taste. It’s best to add gradually and taste as you go, especially if your broth is already salted.
  • Slow Cooker/Instant Pot Adaptations: This recipe can be adapted for slow or pressure cooking; adjust the cooking times as needed.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve hot, garnished with extra chives or a lemon wedge, and accompanied by crusty bread or a side salad.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Table 

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