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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.

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

To make this light and lemony avgolemono, you slowly pour hot broth into the whisked egg yolks and lemon, and gently stir that back into the soup. Switch the whisk out for a wooden spoon and continuously stir over low heat, and 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 instead of the usual chicken broth!

In January, Iemons and limes are falling off the trees in Baja Mexico. Some of those lemons inspired this golden soup with a sounds-Greek-to-me name.

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. The sauce is made with less broth –1 cup broth vs. 6 cups broth for this soup. Rich non-dairy avgolemono sauce draped over roasted veggies–to die for!
  • Your soup should have a silky consistency. Once the eggs have been tempered into the broth, finish the soup using a wooden spoon and over medium-low heat.  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!

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  • 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

  • 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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