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Quinoa and Lemon Soup

I first tried this soup on a trip to Greece and have loved it ever since. Called Avgolemono (literally meaning egg and lemon), it’s surprisingly yummy. I say surprisingly, as even I would have thought a soup based on the combination of broth, lemon and eggs to be rather…well, strange and a little unappetizing. Wrong again. I never imagined that eggs (well, egg yolks) could transform this broth into something so rich and tasty. And the lemon…it really adds a little liquid sunshine to it.

Quinoa and Lemon Soup

I am a die-hard lemon lover, but have managed to keep my love of lemons to an acceptable level here and I use quinoa instead of rice. So my version may not be as creamy as you might expect, especially if you are used to this soup made from orzo or rice. The starches tend to thicken it up. But, I prefer the texture and the light nutty flavor of quinoa. Plus this quinoa and lemon soup, makes for a lovely, light starter for a spring or summer evening. You can even serve it chilled for one of the those scorching summer days. Okay, honestly, we don’t get those in Hamburg, so I eat it warm…

p.s. add some shredded rotisserie chicken and call this one a meal.

QUINOA AND LEMON SOUP
Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS:
6 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade or pick up some organic free-range chicken broth from a local butcher or specialty food shop (1.5 l)
1/2 cup quinoa (100 g)
3 egg yolks
5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
chopped fresh cilantro, as garnish
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
fresh lemons slices, as garnish

METHOD:
1. In a large saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil, and stir in the quinoa.

2. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. In the meantime, in a small bowl whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together until smooth.

4. Remove the soup from the heat, and ladle two cups of the hot broth gradually into the egg and lemon mixture. Slowly whisk this mixture back into the soup.

5. Heat the soup over medium-low until simmering, stirring constantly. Do not boil.

6. Season with salt and pepper, serve garnished with cilantro and lemon slices.

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