Last week I gave you a recipe for falafel, that wonderful Middle Eastern sandwich that features fried chickpea patties with yogurt-cucumber sauce and raw vegetables, packed in a pita pocket or stuffed in a flatbread wrap. I promised that this week I’d share my recipe for a delicious soup that’s an excellent complement to falafel or any Middle Eastern entrée—avgolemono, or lemon-egg soup.
Avgolemono—pronounced “avolemono”—is both incredibly easy and tantalizingly exotic. Technically it’s a lemon-egg sauce, used to thicken soups and stews, but it’s probably better known as a soup, sort of the Middle Eastern version of egg drop soup, and every country in that region, from Greece to Turkey and Israel, has a version of it. It even extends to Italy, with the classic stracciatella. The basic ingredients are chicken broth, egg, fresh lemon juice, spinach and either rice or orzo, a pasta that looks like rice and tastes like, well, pasta.
Avgolemono takes very little time to prepare, and you don’t have to be going Greek to serve it. It’s delicious all by itself, with salad and a nice, crusty baguette, or as the first course to any meal.