Avgolemono with Tortellini and Mushrooms

Avgolemono is a classic Greek soup.  The name means egg-lemon.  Although the name is hard to say.  The soup is fairly easy to make and absolutely delicious!  The soup is smooth and velvety with the tang of lemon.  Normally served as a first course, I want to make it into the main course.  We don’t do many “multiple course” meals.  Why not take the best part of a classic and add something?

Another classic is tortellini cooked in chicken broth with a bit of lemon flavor.  You can see where I’m going….  Why not combine the two?  Why not add sauteed mushrooms and grilled chicken?  OK…I’m done.  I know when I’ve got a great meal in the making and not a lot of work to get there. 🙂


This soup comes together in less than 45 minutes and is so tasty!  I made it last night for some dear friends who we hadn’t been able to see in many months.  It was a big hit!  My oldest son, my toughest food critic, gives this a nine!  My guests “insisted” I post this.  (You know that one raised eyebrow look?)

You’ll need for 8 servings:

olive oil, as needed

8-10 oz of sliced crimini mushrooms (button mushrooms work too)

1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed when added

2 quarts chicken stock (good quality)

2 cups chopped grilled chicken (deli chicken works too)

2 cups of dried cheese filled tortellini

Juice of 1 lemon (3-4tbs)

3 eggs

Chopped parsley to serve

Place a 6 qt stockpot over high heat for about 3-5 minutes.  Add a good splash of olive oil.  Add your mushrooms and spread them out evenly.  Don’t stir-not yet.  You will hear a lot of sizzling.  That is what you want!  That is the sound of flavor darlin!  Let them cook a good 2-3 minutes before you stir.  Then spread them out again and leave them be again.  Keep this up until almost all the moisture is gone.  Pour your thyme into your palms.  Rub the thyme leaves together in your hands over the pot and let the pieces fall onto the mushrooms.  Stir again.  You will see some nice browning on the mushrooms IF you exercised your patience. Cook for another 1-2 minutes and then turn off the fire and remove the mushrooms to a bowl.  Set aside (to add back shortly).

You will have some bit a pieces of brown in the pan.  No worries!  No need to clean up yet.  Add your stock to the same pan and turn the heat back onto medium.  Bring the stock to a simmer, if you want to “up” the stock flavor, add your chopped chicken now and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Using homemade?  You can add the chicken a bit later.

Add your dried tortellini and cook for the time specified on the package instructions (mine was 14 minutes).  Stir occasionally.

While the tortellini is cooking….

In a small bowl, add your three eggs and beat until smooth.  Add your lemon juice and whisk until well mixed.  About 3-5 minutes BEFORE your tortellini is done, use a ladle and scoop out around 1-1 1/2 cups of the broth into a cup.  SLOWLY pour this broth into your egg-lemon mix (your tempering the eggs so they don’t curdle when added to the soup) while stirring the egg-lemon mix constantly.

Your tortellini should be cooked now, reduce the heat to low.  With your egg-lemon mix now tempered, you can now add it to the soup without it clumping.  Just be sure to stir the soup while adding the mix.  Add the mushrooms and the chopped chicken (homemade stock version). Raise the heat just a little to heat the soup all the way through.  Don’t boil it!  That will ruin the texture and the flavor.  Taste for seasoning.  You may need a bit more lemon juice for some lemon lovers, or salt and pepper.  Add the parsley to the soup or garnish each bowl.

Serve with crusty bread and good cheese.  I recommend my Carrot Cake muffins as dessert.  Enjoy!


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