My aunt Maria, left the shores of Cyprus in the 1960’s after she married my uncle Andreas and they settled in Athens, Greece. She originally sent this recipe to my Mother, who cooked it for us as children, sometimes making variations of her own, and this is my version of this tangy soup.
The word “avgolemono” means eggs and lemon.
Vegetable Avgolemono Soup Recipe Serves 6-8
2 tbsp olive oil
6 spring onions chopped
2-3 leafy celery stalks chopped
˝ cup of courgettes, chopped
1 cup of potatoes diced
Ľ cup of rice
1 cup of peas (either fresh or frozen)
A couple of handfuls of washed spinach shredded
3.5 pints of water
2 medium eggs
1˝ lemons – juice only
Ground cinnamon (optional)
1. Add the oil, chopped spring onions and celery into a deep pan and saute until soft, but not coloured. Add courgettes, potatoes and peas, season with salt and stir for a couple of minutes. Stir in the rice.
2. Add 3.5 pints of water, add a couple of tsp of salt and bring to the boil. Put the lid on and lower the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
3. Add the spinach and cook for a further five minutes.
4. In the meantime whisk the eggs in a bowl, slowly adding the lemon juice together with a pinch of salt. Take a ladleful of the hot broth from the soup and slowly whisk it into the beaten eggs to acclimatize them. Then add a couple more ladlefuls, whisking well.
5. Take the soup off the heat and slowly pour all the egg mixture back into the pan, stirring all the time. Keep mixing and put the pan back over a very low heat for a minute so that the eggs can cook through and don’t get scrambled. Adjust seasoning.
6. Serve warm. Provide salt, pepper and if liked, sprinkle ground cinnamon.
Cinnamon is very common in Greek cooking
Another version of this soup which I like making in the summer months is shelled broad beans, peas and asparagus.
I sometimes add cooked shredded chicken into the finished soup, making it more of a main meal.
When using cup measurements, remember to use the same size cup for all the ingredients.