Greek-style lemon chicken soup

    45 min

    This delicate yet rich-tasting soup is packed with good things, and makes a warming and sustaining main course. Chicken breasts are poached with vegetables, then rice is cooked in the well-flavoured stock. At the last minute, the soup is enriched with eggs and fresh lemon juice in traditional Greek fashion.

    6 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 3 small skinless boneless chicken breasts (fillets), about 340 g (12 oz) in total
    • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
    • 2 celery sticks, chopped
    • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
    • 6 black peppercorns
    • strip of lemon zest
    • 1 small bunch of fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley
    • 150 g (5½ oz) long-grain white rice
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • salt and pepper
    • sprigs of fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley to garnish

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:45min 

    1. Put the chicken breasts, onion, celery, carrot, black peppercorns, lemon zest and bunch of dill or parsley into a large saucepan. Add 1.4 litres (2½ pints) water. Bring to the boil over a moderate heat, skimming off any foam that comes to the surface. Reduce the heat and half-cover the pan with a lid, so the water just bubbles gently. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
    2. Remove the chicken from the pan with a draining spoon and set aside. Strain the stock through a sieve into a clean pan, discarding the vegetables and flavourings.
    3. Reheat the stock until boiling, then stir in the rice. Simmer gently for 8–10 minutes or until the rice is almost tender. Meanwhile, cut or tear the chicken into thin shreds, and mix the lemon juice with the beaten eggs.
    4. Add the shredded chicken to the soup. Heat over a moderate heat until the soup almost starts to boil again. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the lemon juice mixture, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, garnished with sprigs of dill or parsley.

    Another idea

    For Chinese-style duck and rice soup, replace the chicken with 2 medium-sized skinless duck breasts, about 300 g (10½ oz) in total. Instead of lemon zest and dill or parsley, flavour the stock with 4 slices of fresh root ginger and a handful of coriander stalks. Simmer for 20 minutes, then remove the duck and shred. Strain the stock, then reheat with 1 tsp grated fresh root ginger. Add 2 thinly sliced celery sticks and 85 g (3 oz) basmati rice. When the rice is almost cooked, add the shredded duck, 1 tbsp chopped coriander, a pinch of crushed dried chillies and a dash of soy sauce. Bring back to the boil, then serve.

    Plus points

    The combination of rice, lean chicken and vegetables keeps this soup low in fat and provides protein and starchy carbohydrate. * Although eggs contain cholesterol, they are an excellent source of protein and many other nutrients. Also, it is now generally agreed that, for most people, eating them has little effect on blood cholesterol levels. Rather, it is the intake of saturated fat, as well as other factors, that can increase blood cholesterol.

    Each serving provides

    Excellent source of niacin, vitamin A. Good source of selenium, vitamin B6. Useful source of copper, folate, iron, potassium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, vitamin C.

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    Reviews in English (2)


    Easy, tasty and healthy, and my 2 yr old enjoyed it too. Though I will put some peas or other veg in next time to make it look less anaemic.  -  16 Apr 2011


    This recipie is easy to prepare and tasts great!  -  31 Aug 2009