About two weeks ago, I woke up to some very unpleasant symptoms. My first thoughts were, “I don’t remember drinking that much wine last night.” Then I started to examine the pains I was feeling. The more awake I became, the more I was sensing that sneaky snake of pain crawling from my shoulder, up my neck, to behind my eyeball. Then my stomach turned on me. Darn tension headache! The only thing worse is a migraine. My poor tummy revolted for hours.
I wish I were one of those people who lose their appetite when they are ill, but I am not. I always want to eat! Clearly, though, some food is off limits while certain symptoms are raging and nothing feels better in an upset stomach than a bowl of hot, comforting soup. Just the day before, Emilie and I had discussed how most packages soups are so bland. “They all taste exactly the same!” I had texted after tossing out the so called tortilla soup I had attempted to eat for lunch that day. The memory of it made my stomach turn even more. Enter delicious and fresh Greek Lemon Chicken Soup!
I have friends that love to make chicken noodle soup from scratch, but I prefer rice over noodles when I have an upset stomach, which is what you’ll find in Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. What I also love about this soup is that it is creamy from eggs and not heavy cream. Even more to love is the lemon! So fresh, the flavor and the scent tell your icky, sick feeling to go away, even if just for a few moments. Of course, it’s always better if you have someone else to make it for you while you rest, but as you can see it is not overly difficult to prepare on your own. There is even time for resting while it simmers away!
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 small onion
- 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into thirds
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup long grain rice
- 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1 egg
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 3-4 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- Fill a large pot with the chicken broth. Add onion carrot, bay leaf, chicken breast, and sea salt and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Once the broth begins boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Using a mesh strainer and a large heat resistant bowl, pour the broth from the pot into the bowl, catching all the solid ingredients in the strainer.
- Remove chicken breast and set aside to cool. Discard all the other solid ingredients and return the strained broth to the pot.
- Place pot back on burner and return heat to medium high. Bring broth back to a boil.
- Add the rice to the pot and cover.
- While the rice is cooking, use a fork to shred the chicken when cool enough to handle.
- Also while the rice is cooking , whisk egg in a bowl until frothy. Add lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk again.
- When the 20 minutes are up, add the shredded chicken to the soup and stir.
- Take 1/4-1/2 cup of the hot broth and pour it in a small heat resistant bowl. You will use this to temper the egg and lemon mixture.
- Slowly whisk the hot broth into the egg to gently raise its temperature and prevent scrambling.
- Turn off the heat and add egg mixture to the soup. Stir to mix thoroughly.
- Place spinach over the soup and cover allowing spinach to wilt, about 3-5 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
- To serve, pour in bowls and top with chopped parsley, which I highly recommend due to the added lemony freshness of the herb.
NOTE: If you prefer a less thicker soup, reduce the amount of rice to 1/4 cup.