About this recipe:This delicate yet rich-tasting soup is packed with good things and it makes a warming and sustaining main dish. Chicken breasts are poached with vegetables, then rice is cooked in the well-flavoured stock. At the last minute, the soup is enriched with eggs and fresh lemon juice in traditional Greek fashion.
3 small skinless chicken breast fillets (about 350 g in total)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
6 black peppercorns
strip of lemon zest
1 small bunch of fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley
1.5 litres water
¾ cup (155 g) long-grain white rice
juice of 1 lemon
2 medium eggs, beaten
salt and pepper
sprigs of fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley to garnish
Put the chicken breast fillets, onion, celery, carrot, black peppercorns, lemon zest and bunch of dill in a large saucepan. Add the water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, skimming off any foam that comes to the surface. Reduce the heat and half cover the pan with a lid, so the water just bubbles gently. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Strain the stock through a sieve into a clean pan, discarding the vegetables and flavourings.
Reheat the stock until boiling, then stir in the rice. Simmer gently for 8–10 minutes or until the rice is almost tender. Meanwhile, cut or tear the chicken into thin shreds, and mix the lemon juice with the beaten eggs.
Add the shredded chicken to the soup. Heat over a medium heat until the soup almost starts to boil again. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the lemon juice mixture, stirring constantly. Serve seasoned with salt and pepper to taste and garnished with sprigs of dill.