RE: Greek Lemon Soup
I made a Greek themed dinner back in January (hummus, skothalia, salad, lamb with orzo and cheese, oven roasted potatoes and baklava) and I also made avgolemono soup. I got most of my recipes from "The Olive and The Caper" by Susanna Hoffman. Here's her recipe for the soup- my guests said it was some of the best they've ever had!
8 cups of chicken stock, fish stock or lamb stock (the cookbook has from-scratch recipes for each, I just used regular store-bought chicken stock)
1/2 cup uncooked orzo or white rice, preferably Arborio (I used orzo)
4 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, for serving
1. Place the stock and orzo in a large nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the orzo is tender, but not mushy, about 12 minutes.
2. Beat the eggs in a medium-size bowl until frothy. Whisk in the lemon juice, then slowly beat in 1 cup of the hot stock, then whisking vigorously.
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the egg/lemon mixture. Add salt to taste and serve right away without reboiling. Pass the pepper separately.
Note: It is important not to reboil the soup once the egg mixture has been added, or else the eggs will clump.
There's several variations suggested, such as using other small pastas (broken up vermicelli, trahana, which are Greek sourdough noodles, or tapioca; also, adding white pepper, cayanne or freshly grated nutmeg instead of black pepper; adding chopped fresh sage, mint dill or parsley; they also suggest adding minced chicken, tiny meatballs or beef tripe cut into 1/4 inch diced pieces. If you add one of those meat options, add it inro the stock before the egg mixture is added in. If you use the tripe, it has to cook for an hour in the stock before the egg mixture is added.