Chicken artichoke lemon soup – a bowl of this hearty, nourishing chicken soup, full of tangy, lemony flavor, and fresh herbs is all you need on a cold, rainy day.
Everyone needs a good and trusty chicken soup recipe in their repertoire for the times when one feels under the weather, or needs a pick-me-up, comforting meal. This chicken artichoke lemon soup is just that – hearty and nourishing, tangy and full of fresh herbal aromas. It’s substantial enough to serve as a main dish, without being heavy, and will leave you totally warmed up and satisfied.
It was inspired by a soup I tried at Wholefoods, that reminded me of my grandma’s famous chicken soup, which she served at every family gathering. She made it with rice, lots of fresh parsley, red peppers, and at the very end thickened it with egg yolks, and flavored it with fresh lemon juice. It always tasted hearty but at the same time bright, fresh and citrussy, and that’s what stands out to me the most, and made it so unique. I pretty much recreated my grandma’s recipe, but also added some canned artichokes, which further accentuate the tangy flavors, and fresh basil for extra aroma. The soup really benefits from lots of freshly ground black pepper, so be generous with that.
Good chicken stock is essential, and if you can make your own at home, I highly recommend doing so. I usually throw a couple of pounds of organic chicken drumsticks, and/or wings into my slow cooker, add one chopped onion, carrot, celery, and parsley stalks, plus thyme, a few garlic cloves, lots of black peppercorns, a splash of vinegar, and salt. I cover it all with water and cook on low for 12 hours or more. The longer it cooks, the better and more flavorful it gets. The long cooking time allows the bones to release all the good minerals and nutrients into the broth. It’s important to use more bony parts, as well as dark meat which results in a more flavorful chicken stock. If you have a whole chicken – head, feet and all – all the better! Just keep in mind that it will gel in the fridge due to the gelatin released from the bones. That shouldn’t worry you, as it will liquefy once heated, and in fact it’s a sign your broth is good.
Once you’ve got a great stock, the rest is a no-brainer. The only part that may be a little tricky is adding raw egg yolks at the end which thicken the soup and create a silky texture. To do that you need to first temper the eggs, by adding a little of the hot soup so the eggs get warm gradually. To be on the safe side, you can always let the soup cool down a bit first. This technique is a traditional way to finish off most soups in Bulgarian cuisine, and give them a creamy texture without adding cream or milk. Instead of fresh lemon, yogurt may be added for a slight tangy flavor but in this case, lemon works better.
You can use pre-cooked chicken meat as well for a faster version. In fact, this would be a good way to use up left over turkey meat after Thanksgiving.
If you are in the mood for soup, here are a few other hearty soups you can make now:
Chicken artichoke lemon soup - a bowl of this hearty, nourishing chicken soup, full of tangy, lemony flavor, and fresh herbs is all you need on a cold, rainy day.
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- 2 cups chicken thigh meat, cut into cubes (pre-cooked can be used too)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup medium grain rice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 lemon
- 2 egg yolks
- 1-2 tsp black pepper
- salt to taste
Chop the onion, carrot and bell pepper into bite-size pieces, and saute in the olive oil for 5 minutes.
Drain and chop the artichokes then add to the rest of the veggies.
Add the chicken meat, the chicken stock and parsley, sliced garlic, season with black pepper and salt, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Add the rice, stir, and continue to cook until the rice is soft (20 more minutes). Taste the chicken and veggies and if done, remove from the heat. Let the soup cool down slightly before proceeding to the next step.
In a bowl, mix the egg yolks, and lemon juice. Add a little of the warm soup to temper the eggs and whisk quickly, then pour the egg yolk and lemon mixture back to the soup pot. Slowly warm up, but do not let it boil. Add the fresh chopped basil, and more lemon if needed. Taste for salt, and pepper and serve with a good crusty bread.