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Egg and Lemon Soup

Beid Bi Lamoun
(Egg and Lemon Soup)
This is a great favorite all over the Middle East. It is the Greek avgolemono. Egg yolks alone or whole eggs are used as a thickening for this very lemony soup.

7-1/2 cups chicken stock (see below)
Salt and white pepper
1/3 cup rice, washed, or 1/3 cup Italian pastina, or 1/4 cup tapioca
3 egg yolks or 2 whole eggs
Juice of 1-2 lemons
2 T. finely chopped parsley or chives (optional)

Make a rich chicken stock with leftover chicken bones or giblets. If it is not strong enough, add a stock cube. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the rice, pastina, or tapioca to the boiling stock and simmer until tender. Beat the egg yolks or whole eggs and add the lemon juice, beating constantly. Add a ladleful of the soup to the egg mixture and beat well. Pour this back into the pan slowly, still beating constantly. Keep the heat under the pan very low, and cook the soup gently, stirring all the time, until it thickens. On no account allow it to boil, or the eggs will curdle. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more lemon juice if necessary.

Garnish, if you like, with chopped parsley or chives, and serve immediately.

In Greece, fish and meat stocks are also used to make the soup, but this is uncommon in the other countries of the Middle East.

From "A Book of Middle Eastern Food" by Claudia Roden
 

 

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