Chicken Soup with Lemon and Rice

Chicken Soup with Lemon and Rice
soup fowl
This is a Greek inspired soup - warm and hearty but with a definite lift from the lemon juice.

The Greek version Avgolemono (meaning egg-lemon) particularly refers to a soup made with chicken stock and rice, and thickened with a beaten mixture of egg and lemon juice.
Some use only the yolks, some whisk the whites separately before beating the yolks and lemon juice back in. You get an interesting thick and foamy result if you do that.

I've added a few extra lumps to mine, but that's just what I had in the kitchen to use up.
The chilli was just for flavour and wasn't meant to impart any particular heat, I would probably have used up a carrot and skipped the peppers if I'd had one.
You could also add dried beans.
I may have overdone the celery, but not by too much.

Serves 6

Cook the rice in two or three times its volume of water with the grated peel of a lemon and half a teaspoon of salt. Feel free to add any herbs you like.
Sweat the onions, then add the carrots if you're using them, then add the celery, then add the pepper, then add the garlic, then add the chicken cubes. Deglaze with a couple of tablespoons of Limoncello, then add the rice, and stock. You can make it thick like a stew or as thin as you like.
Simmer gently until the chicken is cooked, season, then stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat.
Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, re-incorporate their yolks, whisk into them a little of the soup, then gradually whisk the egg mixture back into the soup.
Season generously with black pepper, and garnish with minced parsley and lemon zest.
Serve immediately.
If you want to keep the soup, don't add the eggs to the whole pot since it will be difficult to reheat and the eggs must not boil. Just whisk up a smaller pot to eat immediately.
Of course, you don't have to add the egg - it's quite a nice soup without - but not so thick and foamy.

The original Greek version of this soup would skip most those lumpy ingredients except for the rice.
Your call.