I woke up this morning to dark skies and a heavy rain. It was the sort of morning that makes you want soup -- despite the fact that it was still in the 80s. So I went with it. It was also the kind of dreary morning that makes you want to stay in your pajamas all day. So I went with that, too. I did put on some jeans to run to the post office and grocery store; although, the people at Ingles did not seem nearly as grateful as I would have expected them to be. Ah, well, apparently social graces are on the decline everywhere.
Back to the soup. I've had in mind to make an avgolemono for a while now. I have seen many different versions - some with pasta, some with rice -- with chicken and without. I decided to just use what I had on hand. Having been bred, born and raised in the deep south, I have no idea how close to an authentic avgolemono this is. My experience with Greek cuisine pretty much begins and ends with the Greek salad they used to serve at the Original House of Pizza. Heck,truth be told, I have no idea how to pronounce avgolemono. But it was some dang good soup. I highly recommend eating it with a cute, chubby southern boy on your lap. If yours is anything like mine, he'll be begging for more.
USING WHATCHA GOT AVGOLEMONO
Pour a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a dutch oven. Add some diced carrots and onions. Saute for a few minutes until fragrant. When they are soft and smell fabulous, dump in some chicken stock -- a can or so. Pour in about a cup of rice. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the rice is done. Add water or chicken stock as necessary to keep it the consistency of soup. Throw in some shredded chicken -- leftover or rotisserie -- whatever you have on hand. Here comes the important part: Based on my limited research, it's the eggs and lemon juice that make it authentic avgolemono and not just chicken purlough without the cream of mushroom soup. You can't add eggs to hot soup without tempering them unless you want them to scramble. We are shooting for creamy here, so beat 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a separate bowl until smooth. Add a ladle of the soup broth to the egg mixture slowly, whisking constantly. Remove the soup from the burner. Slowly whisk the egg/broth mixture back into the soup. The result should be a thick, creamy soup. Ladle into a cute bowl and add some chopped parsley if you need it to look nice for a picture (if you're the kind of dweeb who takes pictures of her food). Otherwise, eat it straight from the pot -- chubby southern boy optional but highly recommended.