For the longest time I can remember, soup has always been the essence of comfort food. Food to warm you up on a cold winter day or that special dish when you are sick. This Chicken and Rice soup with lemon is the soup you need this winter.
I was inspired by the Greek soup, Avgolemono. My friend Bella from the blog, Ful-Filled, recently shared her recipe for this classic Greek soup that is a base of chicken, rice, lemon and eggs. My oldest daughter has an egg allergy, which means Avgolemono wouldn't work for her. I wanted to create a similar style soup that would satisfy the same warmth as traditional Avgolemono without the eggs.
Traditional Avgolemono uses eggs to create its signature creamy, silky texture. I decided to replace the egg component with a light roux (flour and butter mixture) to create a bit of creaminess without being a cream based soup. Adding fresh lemon juice is a must but adding some sumac spice gave the soup its bright flavor. The sumac bush is native to the Middle East, it produces deep red berries which are dried and ground into a coarse powder used in many Middle Eastern dishes. Sumac has a lemony flavor, but is more balanced and less tart than lemon juice which is a nice addition in the soup.
The simpleness of this dish is appealing but the flavors of the soup are so deep and comforting. A handful of simple ingredients turn into a dish that is more than perfect for a weeknight meal or a leisurely weekend brunch. Taking the extra time to make a homemade chicken stock is well worth it, especially when the broth is the main star of the show.
.I think the beauty of developing recipes is taking inspiration from around the world and incorporating it into your own personal style. A traditional Greek soup inspired my own version with a Lebanese twist and flair. I hope this soup finds its way to your heart and home.