Healthy Meals on a Budget
My niece recently reminded me of the first soup recipe I taught her to make. It was my college go-to recipe for a delicious meal on a limited budget. I lived on this soup during my college days at the University of Arizona. Truth be told, I also made it frequently after college as young working gal. A large pot of soup could last for days – and was wonderful hot, warm or cold.
It still amazes me that these simple ingredients combine together to create a taste of Greece – making this meal not only simple and nutritious but also a respite during a busy week. If you still need to improve your cooking skills you can learn to prepare healthy and simple meals with a Culinary Arts certification. This recipe became my signature soup at dinner parties during those years and now my niece makes it as part of our family Thanksgiving dinner.
Soupa Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Soup)
A Greek classic. This recipe makes rich, filling, comforting soup. The blend of flavors is intoxicating. Enjoy the subtle melding of lemon, chicken, eggs and rice. Serves 4 -6 (can be doubled)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup orzo, small pasta or rice
- 2 eggs
- Juice of 1 lemon (more or less depending on taste)
- Fresh ground black pepper
- In a stockpot bring broth to a boil and add orzo, small pasta or rice and simmer on low until tender – about 20 minutes. As the pasta/rice is cooking, whisk the eggs in a medium bowl until well incorporated, beating continuously, add lemon juice, and mix until frothy. To temper the eggs before adding to the broth/rice mixture – ladle 1 cup of the broth in constant slow stream while continuing to beat rapidly so you do not curdle the eggs.
- Lower the heat on the stockpot. Slowly add the egg mixture back to remaining broth, stirring constantly. The soup will turn a cloudy white-yellow color. Stir for about two minutes. Do not re-boil; heat slowly until very warm or you may curdle the eggs. Serve.
Notes and suggestions:
- When you reheat the leftovers do not re-boil, gently reheat on low.
- For dinner parties garnish with parsley – for a festive look.
- If you have leftover chicken, shredded chicken makes a nice addition but it isn’t necessary.
It’s a vacation in a bowl – enjoy the memories.
Chef Bio: Lynn Epstein and Iris Feinberg, co-founders of Mama Says, recently introduced the No More Frozen Pizza! a recipe collection for recent college graduates, newlyweds and those finding their way in the kitchen. The collection includes delicious and economical recipes for main dishes, sides and salads packaged in a retro pizza box. It is available online at www.mamasays.us/.
Photo credit: SPOONS © Angela Luchianiuc | Dreamstime.com
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