1 whole organic chicken
4 sweet onions
large zest strips from 6 Meyer lemons
2 cups long grain white rice
2-3 bay leaves
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
My favorite winter soup is Greek Lemon Chicken Soup, also called Avgolemono, and it is perfect for keeping the funk away or curing a cold.
I boil a whole organic chicken in 1.5 gallons of water in a large soup pot until it falls off the bones, remove the bones, strain the broth, and shred the chicken and put it back into the broth.
Next, I sweat 4 sweet onions in a separate pan with large zest strips from six Meyer lemons on low to medium heat until translucent, and no color develops (as this will make your soup an ugly brown color instead of bright light yellow).
Add 2 cups of long grain white rice and 2–3 bay leaves to the broth and bring to a boil with medium flame. Once the soup reaches a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until rice is tender, which is about 20–30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and the zest strips with a slotted spoon.
Bring soup back up to a boil, then reduce to low heat. Use a stick blender and get half of the rice and chicken mixture blended smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk 4 large eggs and 4 large egg yolks with 1 cup of lemon juice. Add 4 cups of hot broth to the egg mixture and whisk, then add to soup pot. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until soup is thickened, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and more lemon juice if desired.
Once soup is finished, reheat without simmering or getting temperature too high or it will make the soup texture sticky.
Jamie Collins is the owner of Serendipity Farms and has been growing organic row crops at the mouth of Carmel Valley since 2001. She distributes her produce through a CSA, u-picks and farmers’ markets.