Saturday, November 20, 2010

Vegetarian Avgolemono Soup with Quinoa - No Croutons Required: Quinoa

Avgolemono Soup with Quinoa

Avgolemono, the stellar Greek combo of egg and lemon makes for a brilliant bowl of pure sunshine which you can beat up quickly without missing a beat. Applying hot broth to raw egg is not nearly as intimidating as it sounds; the likelihood of wrecking the batch to curdling is slim if you temper the tangy mixture slowly up to a general warmth that the eggs can handle. If this method fails you, you can, at the slightest sign of egg separation, rub the mixture quickly through a cheese cloth-lined sieve. But you must act with lightning quick speed. This will save your soup and your neck if you are planning on serving it to guests. Quinoa, the high-protein South American grain-like seed, is obviously not a traditional ingredient, but adds an off-beat beauty and texture that pair well with the zesty, creamy broth. For a light and satisfying meal, serve with small crusty rolls smeared with soft goat cheese. Drizzle olive oil on the cheese and top with a few crushed Kalamata olives and curls of orange rind.

Vegetarian Avgolemono Soup with Quinoa - My own recipe, generally based on the classic trio of ingredients: broth, eggs, and lemon juice. It is garnished most often with dill.

Serves 4.


1 cup dried quinoa (prepared with plain water according to the package directions)
1 quart vegetable broth
3 eggs
1/3 - 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, strained of pit and pulp (use 1/2 cup if you prefer a very sour taste)
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 small handful fresh dill fronds
Additional salt and pepper to taste (optional, depending on how seasoned your broth is)
Lemon wedges


In a large saucepan, heat vegetable broth. Do not boil nor simmer. Remove from heat. Test its temperature by taking up a spoonful then dipping your pinkie in the broth. If it is uncomfortably hot, it will also be too hot for the egg. Allow to cool slightly before testing again.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with lemon juice until they are very smooth and foamy. Using an 1/8 cup measure, transfer warm broth to egg-lemon mixture, beating very quickly with a whisk to disperse heat after each measure. Continue adding and beating one measure at a time until the mixture is very warm to the touch; you can tell by cradling a hand around the bowl. Pace yourself; the egg must be slowly introduced to incremental heat to prevent curdling. When broth in saucepan cools to comparable temperature of egg-lemon mixture, pour mixture into the saucepan, quickly following with a thorough whisking. Over the very lowest burner flame or setting, heat the soup, whisking constantly to prevent it from engaging with the bottom of the pan, closest to the heat source. Do not let soup even come close to a simmer. As soon as soup begins to steam, remove from heat and pour immediately into serving bowls to prevent stored saucepan heat from overcooking the egg. Adjust salt and pepper per bowl if necessary. Add a generous scoop of cooked quinoa to each bowl, then garnish generously with carrot and dill. Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.

This recipe is for lovely Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen, hosting No Croutons Required: Quinoa. Lisa and Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes created No Croutons Required, the long-running vegetarian monthly event featuring soup and salads.

Been There, Done That~

Greek Mushroom Filo Cups
Stuffed Grape Leaves with Avgolemono Sauce
Baklava-Stuffed Figs

Other People's Eats ~

Greek Lemon Soup - The Nourishing Gourmet
Avgolemono Soup - Closet Kitchen
Lemony Quinoa with Butternut Squash - FatFree Vegan Kitchen


  1. A lovely soup! Healthy and flavorful.



  2. I have used rice and orzo but never would have thought to use the healthier quinoa for this classic dish Susan. Well done.

  3. Really great and filling soup.
    The perfect one for the cold winter, that is upon us now ♥

  4. As always, you never fail to please. Thanks so much for your entry this month.

  5. I have never had avgolemono soup, but being an egg lover, I expect I will like it. Your take on it is very inviting. I particularly like the touch of carrot orange.

  6. I had never heard of avgolemono soup and by reading your post and seeing the pic and want to try it soon! Sounds creamy and comforting!

  7. wow, looks yummy. Hey, I have a quinoa event going on in my blog, so please do send it.

  8. Egg and lemon soup, huh? Fascinating soup and a lovely photo to go with it.

  9. I will have to try this delicious-sounding soup recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  10. This looks awesome. I will definitely like it but none other would eat at home. My folks have hard time with the names quinoa, bulgar or couscous. Nice recipe.

  11. Thanks, Rosa!

    Val – Thanks. I probably would not have thought of quinoa, either, except that NCR was geared to it.
    But then, I love avgolemono any which way. ; ) It's one of my most favorite soups.

    Hi, Ana! Thanks!

    Akheela – Thanks so much. : )

    Lisa – Thanks. I have no idea where my energy to please is coming from. My spark is sputtering at the moment. ; D

    Thanks, Simona. I like the carrot touch, too.

    Vanessa – Thank you. It is so very creamy without the cream...: }

    Priya – Would love to, but this recipe distinctly has eggs in it, and I know that isn't allowed for your event, despite the quinoa.

    Xialou – Yes, fascinating. Very light yet warming.

    Welcome, Dena! It really is delicious if you take care not to curdle the eggs!!!

    Hi, Champa! You're so funny. : D

  12. I have never made a soup like this before but I have everything on hand and will try it tomorrow.

    I imagine the quinoa is super creamy with the eggs.