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Recipe: Greek soup packed with nutrients

Avgolemono soup by the Culinary Cottage made with lemon juice, homemade chicken stock

Greek lemony chicken soup also known as "Greek penicillin" because it's packed with nutrients.
Greek lemony chicken soup also known as "Greek penicillin" because it's packed with nutrients. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – This fresh, lemony soup packed with nutrients will give you and your family a healthy start in 2020. Watch the video above to learn how to make it.

Avgolemono means “egg and lemon” in Greek. The soup is also known as “Greek penicillin” because it’s so healthy. Tempering the egg and lemon mixture is key, as it makes for a beautiful velvety texture. It’s a comforting soup that can be eaten at any time of the year.

Nicole Flowers, owner of the Culinary Cottage, shared the recipe (below) with SA Live on Thursday. The Culinary Cottage offers hands-on cooking classes for adults and children ages 8 and older. It’s located in Bracken Village, on San Antonio’s Northeast Side. For more information on classes, visit the Culinary Cottage’s website.

Agvolemono (Greek lemony chicken) soup

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (3 pounds)

• 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped

• 2 celery ribs plus leaves, roughly chopped

• 2 carrots, roughly chopped

• 2 bay leaves

• 1/2 teaspoon dried Greek oregano

• Kosher salt and whole black peppercorns

• 1 large yellow onion, diced

• 2 carrots, diced

• 6 cups homemade or good quality chicken stock

• 2/3 cup Arborio rice (regular rice can be used, but brown rice is not recommended)

• Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

• 3 eggs

• 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

• Extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Place whole chicken (include neck if you wish), chopped onion, celery, carrot, bay leaves and oregano in a large pot. Add a few pinches of kosher salt and a handful of black peppercorns. Pour water over the top, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, skimming foam as necessary, until you can pull thighs from chicken easily with tongs, about an hour (cooking for a shorter amount of time to use the meat in the soup; if just making stock, cook for about 4 hours and discard meat). An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone, should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Transfer chicken to a bowl to cool, strain all vegetables from simmering broth, discard vegetables and return broth to the pot. Chop cooked chicken meat.

Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a large stock pot. When shimmering, add diced onion and carrots and a generous pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until onion is soft, sweet and golden, about 7 to 10 minutes. This is key because the sweetness of the onion/carrots will offset the acidity of the lemon.

Add 6 cups of your homemade stock and set over medium-low heat. Add rice and 2 teaspoons of salt, bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is very tender and broth flavors combine, about 30 to 45 minutes. Note: You may want to add a few teaspoons of chicken bouillon, since the stock didn’t cook for very long.

In a bowl, whisk eggs until whites and yolks are combined. Add lemon juice slowly and whisk until combined. Now you need to temper the egg/lemon mixture (to avoid scrambling the eggs). Slowly pour one ladle of stock into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Add one more ladle full of stock to egg mixture and whisk. Pour egg mixture into broth in the pot, add chopped chicken and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice if desired. Garnish with fresh minced parsley and serve immediately.

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