January Comfort Food: Lemon-Garlic Soup

This has been an unusually dreary Colorado winter, and I am really missing the typical sunny days.  This is the first winter here that I have experienced some seasonal affective disorder (it happened every winter when I lived in the U.P.), so I am looking forward to longer days and more sunshine.  Today I had no desire to cook, so after consulting with the Facebook brain trust I decided to make one of my favorite, simple soups.  I currently have a freezer full of homemade stock and for this I used shellfish stock–but chicken or mushroom or any relatively light-tasting stock will work.  It isn’t a beautiful dish but it is luscious and tangy and earthy and perfect when you just need a bowl of creamy soup.

Lemon-Garlic Soup

Since the salt content of stocks varies so widely, I did not specify an amount to add–just go by taste, and add it in after the lemon mixture has been added.  Because I am a lemon fiend I have also given a range on the juice amounts.  If you prefer less tang, go with the lesser amount.  This takes minutes to prepare and when I make it I tend to eat it exclusively until it is gone.  It’s one of those humble dishes that is also elegant in its lack of pretense, but you can also doctor it up if you want to add some additional texture–toss in some shrimp, some crisped shallots, some sliced, hard-cooked eggs–whatever you think will make it more substantial.

Lemon-Garlic Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon crushed and chopped fresh garlic
  • 6 cups good-quality shellfish stock (or mushroom or chicken stock)
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ to ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, if desired
Instructions
  1. In a 4-quart pot, heat the ghee over medium-high heat and saute the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until just fragrant. Do not let the garlic brown.
  2. Reserve ½ cup of the stock to mix with the eggs. Pour the remaining 5½ cups of stock into the pot with the garlic. Let the mixture come to a simmer.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon juice, arrowroot, white pepper, and half of a cup of reserved stock. Pour the mixture into the simmering stock and stir until it all thickens–this will only take a few minutes.
  4. Serve the soup hot, sprinkled with fresh cilantro or parsley.

Lemon-Garlic Soup

It’s that simple, and you will have to trust me that it tastes so much better than it looks!  I said that it serves four, but usually I eat most of it myself.

If you have never made your own seafood stock, that is also easy–I freeze the shells from shrimp or crabs and when I have a good amount I throw them in a stock pot and brown them in a little oil, then cover with water, bring to a low boil, and cook for about 20 minutes.  Unlike bone stocks, shellfish stock does not require a long cooking time to extract the flavors.  Strain out all of the bits and then freeze it until you are ready to make some soup.

Wishing you sunny days, wherever you are,

-Angela

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4 Responses to January Comfort Food: Lemon-Garlic Soup

  1. Jenny January 26, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    Hi Angela!
    Love your website. i have a question about this soup. Are the bits of white I see the cooked/curdled egg? This sounds very similar to Greek Egg & Lemon (Avgolemono) soup, but with avgolemono you temper the eggs into the hot broth so they don’t curdle, leaving the soup velvety and creamy.

    • Angela January 26, 2014 at 11:07 am #

      Hi Jenny: The bits you see are two things, egg and flecks of garlic. This is a version of Avgolemono, yes, and it is very creamy because of the arrowroot and the egg. I like to have a little texture in my soup, so this is my preferred method.

      • Jenny January 27, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

        What a good idea. I usually add very finely diced, cooked chicken breast to the soup to simulate the orzo/rice that is usually in avgolemono. Never thought about creating egg strings, or adding garlic! Or using a different stock! All these new ideas for an old family recipe! Thanks for sharing!

        • Angela January 27, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

          I love it with rice but I really try to limit my grain intake now (even gluten-free grains), but I like to add in fresh spinach (which also makes it a little less ugly :) Thank you for stopping by!

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