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  • Writer's pictureCRAIG BRYAN

Healthy Recipe, Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

This fresh take on chicken soup, adapted from one in the third volume of Joanna Gaines’ “Magnolia Table” cookbook series (Morrow, $40), is a riff on the Greek classic, avgolemono. A few egg yolks add body, nutrients, and a velvety texture — no heavy cream is required! Along with lemon juice and orzo pasta, this version has aromatics and a garnish of herbs and feta. It’s easy to make, so long as you temper the yolks first with hot broth as directed. Serves 6-8. RECIPE HERE – Susan Puckett


  • ¾ cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 cup chopped white or yellow onion

  • ½ cup chopped carrots

  • ½ cup chopped celery

  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast (or leftover rotisserie chicken)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • ½ cup crumbled feta

  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley

  • Lemon wedges for garnish, optional


  1. In a medium pot, cook the orzo in boiling, salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

  2. In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes.

  3. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until creamy and light in color. While whisking constantly, slowly ladle 2 cups of broth, about half a cup at a time, into the broth. (Take care not to pour the broth in too quickly or the eggs will curdle.)

  5. Add the yolk mixture, chicken, and cooked orzo to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until heated through about 5 minutes.

  6. Ladle into soup bowls and top each portion with crumbled feta, parsley, and a lemon wedge, if desired.

  7. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Orzo will continue to absorb the broth, so you may need to add a little more broth while reheating.

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at

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