Brrrrrrrr… it’s cold here in So California…and in Greece

by Sava

I know if you are buried in a snowy winter in other parts of the country and someone mentions California, you might picture palm trees, warm summer breezes, and sunny beaches here in Southern California but have you watched the news lately? It is pretty cold here and we even have snow in our mountains. In fact, it is also cold in Greece, where it seems it should be warm, as well. Most hotels and restaurants on some of the Greek islands close for the winter and there is even snow in their mountains where ski season is in full swing if bad weather doesn’t interfere. So we share a similar climate and when the temperatures are low and the breeze is anything but warm, my mind turns to a winter favorite, chicken soup. Many of you have probably heard of or tried the classic Greek Chicken Soup, Avgolemono, or egg lemon soup. That recipe is a little more labor intensive than this “quick” recipe. You can whip this one up when you don’t have time to boil a whole chicken, bone it, skim the foam from the water, strain it and on and on…

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts                          2 cups chopped celery

2 cups chopped onion                                                      2 cups chopped or shredded

                                                                                                    carrots

4 cups chicken broth                                                         s & p to taste

1/2 tsp oregano                                                                   3 tbsp olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste                                       1/2 c rice, pasta

                                                                                                     or cup of chopped,  potatoes

Heat olive oil in large saucepan and saute carrots, celery and onions until soft. Push veggies to the side and place chicken breasts in pan. Lightly brown on both sides. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice and oregano and all the broth. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove chicken, cool slightly and either shred or chop into pieces and add back into soup. At this point you may serve as is or add your choice of rice, pasta or potatoes and continue to simmer until cooked. If it gets too thick as it simmers add more broth.  Variation: Add one can of herb-flavored diced tomatoes.

Now ladle the soup into your favorite bowl, lean over the bowl and breathe deeply. Let the fragrance of this lovely, rich soup fill you before your first spoonful, then fill your tummy and feel it warm you inside out. And keep dreaming of warm summer breezes.

See you next time.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan January 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Mmmmmm….Sounds delicious! Especially during this cool weather.

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Sava January 13, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Yes, Dan, it is! We have recently gone through a few pots of this soup, working our way through all the colds we seem to be passing back and forth! “They” have proven chicken soup to be beneficial when you have a cold, so that is just another reason to put the kettle on and enjoy it. Yassou (not to be mistaken for “achou”with all the sneezing going on).

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georgiajoadriansardoniscone! January 16, 2011 at 10:24 am

Yassou,too!
A quick version of the classic Greek chicken soup with egg and lemon is this one , which our Mom could whip up in a moment’s notice both for its comforting therapeutic value as well as its pure, creamy deliciousness!

Avgolemono Soup

2 quarts canned chicken broth
1 cup white rice or orzo pasta
3 large eggs
juice of 2 lemons
salt and pepper to taste

Bring broth to a boil and add rice or orzo.Cook partially covered,over medium heat for about 15 minutes til rice is cooked.Remove from heat. In a medium bowl beat the eggs until very frothy. Add lemon juice and continue beating. Take about 1 cup of warm broth and add it slowly to the egg mixture,beating gently.Pour into the soup and return pot to a very low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure 8 for about 5 minutes til soup thickens slightly and gets creamy yellow. Do not boil or it will curdle. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Bliss!

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Sava January 20, 2011 at 12:30 am

Well, I’ll use the ‘short’ part of your name…Hi Jo! Thanks for adding the quick version of avgolemono. The egg lemon can be added to the recipe I posted, as well, if one would like to. There is just something about that “sudsy soup” that is so comforting. At least we have a few versions here, now, and you all can take your pick! The plain chicken soup and the Greek chicken soup. Gotta love it. Thanks for the addition. Yassou!

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