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Vegetarian Greek Lemon Egg Soup with Orzo

Give yourself a gift of sunshine, a tempting bowl of hot vegetarian Greek lemon egg soup with orzo! This unique flavorful soup works like magic. It’s so light and lemony, you’ll feel like you’ve landed yourself in sunny summer, in the shade of a lemon tree.

Leeks and Carrots for Vegetarian Greek Egg and Lemon Soup with Orzo

No kidding! Tangy with fresh lemon, busy with sweet leeks, carrot bits, and that tiny rice-shaped pasta, this soup takes you tropical, wherever you set your table.

Avgolemono, Ahv-goh-LEM-moh-noh, (the letter G is silent), is a classic Greek soup made from broth (traditionally chicken broth), egg yolks, and lemon juice. Translated from Greek, avgolemono literally means egg and lemon.

Leeks and Carrots for Vegetarian Greek Egg and Lemon Soup with Orzo

To make this light and lemony soup, you slowly pour hot broth into the whisked egg yolks and lemon, and gently stir that back into the soup. With continuous stirring over low heat, slowly and surely the egg yolks thicken the broth in the most divine way.

The sour lemon cuts the richness of the egg, transforming a simple broth with veggies and pasta into silken rich yet light soup. For this vegetarian rendition, we use vegetable broth, and skip the chicken!

Hanging here in Southern Baja, lemons and limes are falling off the trees in our rental house back yard. Yeah, don’t feel sorry for me. Think of the lemons that inspired this golden soup with a sounds-Greek-to-me name.

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Lemon juice, egg, and orzo for Leeks and Carrots for Vegetarian Greek Egg and Lemon Soup with Orzo

Where citrus trees thrive, it’s harvest season. Even if you don’t live anywhere near a lemon, orange, grapefruit, or lime tree, right now you’ll find citrus abundance in the grocery store. Eat seasonal!

Vegetarian Greek Lemon Egg Soup with Orzo recipe details:

  • Avgolemono can be soup or sauce–same ingredients, but with less broth in the sauce–1 cup broth vs. 6 cups. Rich non-dairy avgolemono sauce draped over roasted veggies–to die for!
  • Your soup should have a silky consistency. If cooked over too-high heat, you will end up with grainy pieces of egg suspended in a delicious vegetable broth. DO NOT BOIL!
  • The technique for making avgolemono reminds me of the smooth vanilla dessert sauce, crème Anglaise. Once the eggs are tempered, like for Anglaise, it’s smart and safer to finish the soup using a wooden spoon instead of a whisk, all the while stirring in a figure-eight motion.
  • I swear this lemony vegetarian soup is even better the next day. With patience, reheat on medium low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the soup is hot. Same as when you make the soup—do NOT allow to boil!

Tools and Ingredients:

#Eat Seasonal

This recipe is part of a monthly roundup of seasonal fruit and veggie recipes that I’ve been a part of for several years. This month fresh citrus rocks the seasonal shelves! Therefore a citrus show-off recipe. Last year, I blended up a super-healthy tangerine Julius smoothie. The January before that, pink grapefruit inspired a burnt honey custard tart topped with caramel-drenched grapefruit.

 

Click the links below to see the amazing seasonal recipes my blogging girlfriends dreamed up. There’s a yummy sounding wild rice salad with tangerines, a roasted garlic cheddar soup, and two Mexican recipes, one for tacos and one for fajitas. I delighted to see this month every one is meatless!

By sharing each other’s recipes, we hope to tempt you into the kitchen. Go for it! Cook something delicious, and seasonal.

Flavor the Moments — Roasted Butternut Squash Fajitas with Pomegranate Guacamole

Floating Kitchen — Roasted Beet and Radicchio Salad with Wild Rice and Tangerines

Joy Food Sunshine — Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Vegetable Tacos

Healthy Seasonal Recipes — Roasted Garlic Cheddar Soup

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Vegetarian Greek Egg Lemon Soup with Orzo (Avgolemeno)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

This vegetarian version of the classic Greek egg and lemon soup is remarkably easy and quick to make using vegetable broth powder.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings.
Author: Letty Flatt | Letty's Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced leeks, tender white parts
  • 1 cup diced carrots, 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (see note)
  • ½ cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fine sea salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Lemon zest strips, optional
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrots, and garlic, and sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the vegetable broth and orzo. Simmer until the orzo is almost al dente, 9 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  2. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice in a bowl until frothy.

  3. When the orzo is almost done, take 1 cup of the hot broth and slowly pour it into the egg and lemon mixture, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk in 2 more cups of the broth. (It’s OK if some of the orzo gets whisked in too.)
  4. Now, over medium-low heat, whisk the tempered egg and lemon mixture into remaining broth and orzo. Switch to a wooden spoon and, stirring continuously in a figure-eight motion, cook 1 or 2 minutes, just until the eggs slightly thicken the soup.

  5. You want the soup to have a silky rich consistency. If the heat is too high you will get grainy pieces of egg suspended in a delicious vegetable broth. DO NOT BOIL.
  6. Garnish with sprinkles of fresh parsley and lemon zest, if using.

Recipe Notes

Vegetable broth powder makes a quick, easy, and flavorful soup base.

Silky rich dairy-free vegetarian version of classic Greek egg and lemon soup, avgolemono. With gluten-free or regular orzo pasta. Quick and easy to make with vegetable broth powder.

8 comments

  • […] Letty’s Kitchen — Vegetarian Greek Egg Lemon Soup with Orzo […] Reply · 8 January, 2018

  • I love Avgolemono soup, although I’ve never been able to pronounce it correctly. Ha ha ha. I’ve never attempted to make it at home either – always a bit scared of the egg situation and possibly scrambling them. But I need to give it a go! Reply · 8 January, 2018

    • I was the same way Liz–afraid it sounded like egg drop soup. I decided the way this soup thickens is like creme anglaise custard, so cooking it in a similar fashion, with a wooden spoon and stirring in a figure-eight motion, would result in silky smooth soup. It works! Reply · 8 January, 2018

  • Making a vegetarian version of one of my favorite soups was genius Letty! I grew up eating this and there’s really nothing like it. Beautiful job! Reply · 8 January, 2018

    • Thank you Marcie. Lucky you to grow up eating this soup! It had been on my radar for a while but I’d never made it. Reply · 8 January, 2018

  • […] Letty’s Kitchen — Vegetarian Greek Egg Lemon Soup with Orzo […] Reply · 8 January, 2018

  • I love the thought of a lemon tree dripping in lemons! That’s a far cry from this wind swept snow scape here in Vermont today. This soup is perfect where ever you are. Love the flavors. Reply · 10 January, 2018

    • Thanks Katie! You guys have had it rough with the freezing temps this last month. Soup is always a good call in winter! Reply · 10 January, 2018

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