Egg lemon soup - σούπα αυγολέμονη
The egg lemon soup is one of the most loved soups in Cyprus, always made from fresh chicken broth. This soup comforts the sick but also the travelers, it is the first meal eaten after the fasting periods so as to get used again to eating meat and milk products. For this reason Mrs Amalia made the soup with great skill. Especially at Christmas and Easter after the long fasting periods the soup was ready for us to be eaten after the midnight church mass. She herself would eat the soup at around two in the morning when the mass had finished.
1 small chicken (whole or in pieces)
4-5 tablespoons glace rice
juice of 1 lemon
2 eggs beaten
optional: carrot and celery
Fill a large cooking pot with plenty of water and add the chicken. (a whole chicken tends to be more moist and whiter). Bring to the boil. When it starts to boil a foam forms on the top, scoop this foam off with a skimmer.
When the foam is gone add salt, peppercorns, bay-leaf and the cleaned onion cut in 2 halves. (optional the carrot and celery cut in large pieces). Close the cooking pot with its lid and simmer the chicken for one hour.
Pour the broth through a sieve in a clean, slightly smaller cooking pot. Place the chicken on a plate and set aside covered with a clean cloth. The spices, onion and vegetables are disposed. Heat up the broth and add 4-5 spoons of rice. Stir. Close the cooking pot with its lid and simmer for 25 minutes.
Whisk the eggs well in a large bowl and add the lemon juice. Whisk until well combined, it may form froth on top.
Pour little by little some broth in the egg/lemon mixture. It is very important to whisk well at the same time in order for the egg not to form cooked lumps.
When the mixture has been well combined with the broth, then pour the mixture by the remaining broth, whisk a little. Place the soup back on the fire or hob and bring it slowly to a boil, as soon as it boils switch off the heat. Cover the casserole with its lid and leave the soup to rest for 20-30 minutes before serving.
Serve the soup in large plates with the chicken on the side, some fresh lemon juice and pepper for those who prefer, enjoy! Καλή όρεξη!