Monika’s Molecular Meals: Whole30 Chicken Soup (Inspired By Greek Avgolemono)

By Monika Knapp | 21 July 2021 2825 views
Whole30 chicken soup

This Whole30 Chicken Soup Is Both Delicious AND Good For You!

Monika's Molecular Meals: Whole30 Chicken Soup (Inspired By Greek Avgolemono)

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Today’s recipe is a healthy, Whole30-approved spin on a Greek classic:

A fragrant chicken soup featuring egg, lemon, and rice—AKA avgolemono.

Traditionally, avgolemono is made with short-grain rice. And while rice is admittedly gluten-free… it’s not exactly Whole30-friendly.

But you know what is?

Potatoes!

And fortunately, potatoes make an excellent substitution in this soup.

You don’t even have to worry that you’ll be sacrificing the delicious flavor of avgolemono—because it’s still completely delicious.

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This soup also has a lot of other mouth-watering elements that I think you’ll find satisfy many of the typical Whole30 dieter’s cravings:

  • There’s richness and creaminess from the eggs…
  • An almost buttermilk-like tanginess from the lemons…
  • Contrasting texture from the chicken…

And the best part is, it’s freaking delicious, even if you’re not doing Whole30. (I can personally vouch for this… everyone I served this soup to was slurping their bowls at the end of the night!)

It’s also very easy to make, even if you’re not Greek or have never heard of avgolemono ever before in your life.

And if you’re running a little short on groceries right now due to the lockdown situation… no reason to fret.

This recipe is made up of staple ingredients you probably already have in your house!

And by the way… while I use potatoes in this version to make it Whole30-friendly… if you only have rice and no potatoes, you can definitely use rice! (Just remember that it won’t be totally Whole30-compliant then.)

So, if you’re ready to get started on a delicious, easy, Greek-inspired soup (that you’re going to want to make every week now)…

Here’s how it’s done:

Monika's Molecular Meals: Whole30 Chicken Soup (Inspired By Greek Avgolemono)

FTH’s Avgolemono-Inspired Whole30 Chicken Soup

Equipment Needed: Large saucepan (about 3-quart capacity); whisk 

Recipe Time: 60-90 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast halves
  • 2 qts. homemade chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium stock (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1/2 cup peeled, boiled, and coarsely mashed potato or cauliflower (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • A few sprigs of dill or parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
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Directions:

1) Cook your chicken.

The first part of this soup will both cook your chicken and infuse your broth with even more delicious, chicken-y flavor.

In a large saucepan, combine the chicken and chicken stock. 

Turn the heat to medium-low, and cook gently to maintain a temperature of about 150 degrees Fahrenheit until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This will take about an hour—if you don’t have an instant-read thermometer to double-check, it’s alright. Just slice into the chicken to make sure it’s cooked to your liking. 

And if you’re questioning the fact that we’re only cooking the chicken to 145 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the traditional 165, remember that:

  1. We’re going to continue cooking it for a bit, and also, 
  2. In terms of pasteurization, cooking chicken at 145 for just 8.5 minutes kills about the same amount of bacteria as bringing it to 165.

However you decide to cook your chicken, when it’s done, remove it from the pot and dice or shred it.

2) Make the soup.

Have your potatoes or cauliflower ready and prepared to dump in the pot.

In the meantime, combine eggs with about 1/4 cup of lemon juice in a heatproof bowl, and whisk until frothy on top. This may take 5-10 minutes.

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While whisking, ladle about 1/2 cup of the warm—not hot—stock into the egg mixture (this is called tempering the eggs, and it prevents your soup from scrambling). Repeat this 3-4 more times, whisking all the while.

Add the potatoes into the soup, then whisk in the egg mixture, along with a generous pinch of salt.

Cook the soup over low heat until it becomes thickened by the eggs—be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pot well while you do this to avoid sticking.

When it’s thickened to your liking, taste the soup. If it needs the extra lemon juice, add it—same goes for salt.

Garnish with fresh herbs, and serve. 

Recipe Notes

  • Homemade stock is very easy to make and makes a huge difference in soups. However, some traditional Greek avgolemono recipes call to use a whole chicken boiled in water, which essentially creates its own stock. You can also use a store-bought stock, but just make sure it’s Whole30-approved.
  • While the traditional recipe calls for a short-grain rice, I find the combination of chicken, potato, lemon, and egg equally intoxicating. However, if you’d like to make this even lower-carb, feel free to use cauliflower.
Monika's Molecular Meals: Whole30 Chicken Soup (Inspired By Greek Avgolemono)

How To Make Chicken Stock At Home (And Make This Soup Taste Even Better)…

If you have leftover chicken bones, old chicken, or chicken you wouldn’t otherwise use at home (that’s still edible, of course)… DIY chicken stock is a great way to save it.

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To one large stockpot or two large saucepans, add:

  • 8 cups of water
  • Roughly 4 lbs of chicken (I tend to gravitate toward the collagen-rich cuts such as wings and feet. If you prefer a lighter, less full-bodied stock, use lighter meat.)
  • 8 cloves of garlic, smashed (you can leave the peels on)
  • 4 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 4 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • Several sprigs of fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley, or dill
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seed
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seed
  • 1/2 Tbsp celery seed
  • 2 large pinches of salt

Simmer this for 1.5-2 hours, then strain into tupperware and let cool. If you have the time, let it sit overnight in the fridge.

The next morning or after 6-8 hours, skim the fat off the top and either use or store in the freezer.

Monika's Molecular Meals: Whole30 Chicken Soup (Inspired By Greek Avgolemono)

Add This Cheese To Your Stock For Extra Fat Burn! (And Even More Delicious Flavor) 

Most people know Parmigiano Reggiano as the cheese you grate on top of pasta… or bake into crisps… or set out on a cheese plate…

(Or if you’re me… eat with crackers and jam while binging on Netflix… and NOT sharing.)

But did you know once you finish the cheese, you can actually cook with the rind, too??

The rind contains a ton of cheesy, Parmesan-y flavor—and when you add it to stocks and soups, it infuses it with that rich, umami, cheesy-but-not-heavy essence.

It’s absolutely delicious and can take your soups from “good” to outright mouth-watering.

So use it in this Greek-inspired chicken soup… or just about any other soup you’re making!

An added bonus?

Research shows adding Parmigiano Reggiano to your diet (the real deal, whole-chunk stuff—NOT the pre-grated kind) can help protect your immune system and boost fat burn.

(And both of those benefits are REALLY important for me right now… with this lockdown situation!)

I was really surprised to see that eating choose could actually support weight loss especially when all our lives, we’ve been led to believe cheese is “bad” for you!

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to welcome delicious cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano back into my diet… and burn more fat at the same time!

Here’s the science that proves eating more cheese can help you lose more weight… plus 2 more surprising cheeses you can sneak into your diet for extra fat burn. 🙂

[Note: This post was updated by Fit Trim Happy on April 5, 2020.]