Peabody of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody fame has recently moved into what is probably one of the cutest houses I’ve seen. She has asked people to bring a dish to her virtual housewarming party, and I’ve been trying to figure out for a few days now what to bring. Since a lot of Peabody’s blogging friends are bakers, I figure many of the dishes brought will be desserts, so I decided to “bring” something savory. The decision was made much easier by the fact that baking is not what you would call my strong suit. In fact, you’d probably call it my weakness. So, no need to try and compete with all those wonderful bakers!
I ended up picking avgolemono (egg-lemon rice) soup, not only because I love making soups and it’s Greek, but because Seattle has had its first snowfall, and I figure something warm and comforting is good. I am serving the soup in mugs so it’s easier to eat at a potluck, and it’s even served on a special trivet, just for Peabody…a hockey puck. I considered using my Lidstrom jersey under the mug, but I don’t think self-proclaimed Red Wings hater Peabody would like that much. Or, maybe she would, in hopes that the soup would spill all over the jersey ;)
Avgolemono is probably the easiest soup in the world to make; not that it tastes that way. The thing is, because it has so few ingredients (4, if you’re not adding chicken), you really want to use homemade stock for this soup to make sure it hasa great depth of flavor. It’s not that you can’t use a good quality store bought stock, but I’m going to be a little Ina Garten here and give a strong recommendation for homemade.
8 cups homemade chicken stock or good quality store-bought stock
1 cup rice (I prefer short grain because it’s starchier and will help to thicken the soup but if you don’t want the rice to be as soft or the soup to be as thick, use long grain)
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken (optional)
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (more or less, depending on how tart you want the soup)
salt and pepper
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs together with the lemon juice. Slowly drizzle some of the broth from the soup into the egg-lemon mixture, whisking constantly so as not to scramble the egg. Do about 2 ladles full of broth. Then, slowly pour the whole mixture back into the stockpot, again whisking constantly.
Sprinkle the soup with fresh ground pepper and serve with lemons, if desired.