Lemons are my desert island food. If that is even a question, then the answer is lemons, no regrets. Versatile and perfect for savory or sweet food (and for both hot and cold drinks) the lemon is my favorite food item. Issues with Scurvy? Only pasta and fresh herbs on hand? Thirsty? What pie should I order? All questions are answered and life made whole through access to lemons. I miss Los Angeles for this very reason. I knew a family in Pasadena who shared their lemons from their little grove with me during the pandemic and for this, and a few other reasons, I will love them forever.

One great recipe for lemons is Sopa de huevos y limon a Jewish avgolemono.

Sephardic Chicken Soup With Lemon and Egg, photo from The Nosher

The debate around if Jews introduced lemons to the Mediterranean is a lively one, and all I know is that this recipe is great and it can be easily adjusted to your taste preferences. And lemons are the best. Thanks to our friends at The Nosher for this recipe.

Sopa de huevos y limon

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sopa de huevos y limon is a traditional first course for breaking the Yom Kippur fast among Jews from Turkey, the Balkan states, and the Greek port city of Thessaloniki (known as Salonika in Ladino). This gently seasoned and comforting soup owes its velvety texture to tempered eggs rather than dairy, which makes it suitable for a meat meal under the kosher dietary laws.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken such as from a rotisserie chicken
  • fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and saut√© until softened, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  • Add orzo to boiling broth and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes.
  • While the orzo is cooking, whisk together the eggs and lemon juice in a large, heatproof bowl.
  • Once the orzo is cooked through, reduce the heat until the soup is at a gentle simmer. Temper the eggs by slowly adding one cup of hot broth to the egg-and-lemon mixture while whisking. Then, slowly add the tempered egg mixture back to the Dutch oven. (This will prevent the eggs from curdling in the hot liquid.) Note: It is important not to rush this process and whisk throughout, to ensure the eggs emulsify.
  • Add the cooked chicken to the soup and simmer until heated through. Do not allow soup to boil at any point after adding the eggs, which could cause the soup to break or curdle.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot, garnished with fresh dill.

Photos by Julia Peretiatko, Dan Gold & Bannon Morrissy on Unsplash and the Nosher!

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