Fish soup – Avgolemono


This is a traditional Greek soup called “avgolemono” which literally means egg-lemon sauce! This sauce is most famous on a chicken soup however you can use it on various dishes to dress it up. It could be used on cabbage rolls, meatballs, fish soup, vegetables. Keep reading to learn how to make it over a fish soup. I promise that we will discuss the recipes for the rest on other posts in the future.

Why am I making a fish soup? We went to the fish marker today and I found wild red snapper. Well, it was calling my name! I couldn’t resist 🙂 Red snapper makes a delicious soup, I just love it! When I was growing up my father used to fish and we had this dish very often. This delicate and rich smell from the fresh fish directly from the sea, oh! it was great!

It is not always very easy to find red snapper, so you can make this with other white fish just us cod, halibut or rockfish. You could even use fillets so you don’t have to debone. I would suggest to stick to wild caught if possible though.

Traditionally this soup is made with white rice. I switched it up a little bit by using barley. The main reason that we limit the rice in our diet is the high arsenic levels. I usually try to use other whole grains or pseudo grains such as bulgur wheat, quinoa, millet, farro and buckwheat.

Tips for the perfect Avgolemono

  • Prepare the avgolemono when the soup is almost done. You need to pour the avgolemono in a hot soup.
  • Turn off the stove top and then pour the avgolemono. The heat of the soup will safely cook the egg.
  • You need to temper the avgolemono by pouring slowly the fish broth to the egg/lemon mixture so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs 🙂

Fish soup – Avgolemono

Recipe by Panos EatsCourse: DinnerDifficulty: Moderate


Prep timeminutes
Cooking timeminutes


  • 1 wild red snapper around 2 pounds (0.91 kilograms) (but you could use any white fish like cod or rockfish)

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 lemons

  • 2 big carrots

  • 2 sticks celery

  • 1 small onion

  • 1 cup barley

  • 1 stick fresh rosemary

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Salt and pepper


  • Fish soup
  • Boil the red snapper for 15 min with water and the bay leaves making sure that the fish is fully covered
  • Take out the fish, set it aside in a bowl
  • Strain the broth and save it in a bowl
  • Dice the carrots, onion and celery
  • Add the olive oil in a clean pot over medium heat and add the diced vegetables
  • Chop the rosemary and add it in the pot along with the oregano, salt and pepper
  • Stir well and add 14-16 cups of the fish broth. Be sure to strain the broth
  • Add the barley and cook for 25 minutes
  • In the meantime debone the fish
  • After the 25 minutes, add the fish meat in the pot and cook for extra 5 minutes
  • Avgolemono sauce
  • Crack the eggs in two mixing bowls keeping the egg whites and the egg yolks separate
  • Foam the egg whites well for a couple of minutes and then add the egg yolks and lemon juice
  • Slowly pour four cups from the soup broth into the egg-lemon mixture.
  • Add all the mixture in the pot and stir well.

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