Turkey Soup with Avgolemono & Orzo (Soupa Avgolemono)


 (Michael Psilakis)

  • Prep Time


  • Cook Time


  • Total Time

    2hr 30min

  • Servings


Avgolemono is a classic Mediterranean sauce made with eggs and lemon, giving a unique creamy brightness to this hearty soup. 


  • 3 lbs of leftover turkey meat
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons blended oil (90% canola, 10% extra-virgin olive)
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ stalks celery, finely chopped
  • ½ Spanish or sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves (alternatively, 3 dried leaves)
  • 3 large sprigs thyme
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • Water as needed

For the Avgolemono

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup small, picked sprigs dill
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper


Step 1

  • Preheat the oven to 325 F. As the oven warms, cut the leftover turkey meat and set aside.

Step 2

  • In a large, heavy pot, warm the blended oil over medium-high heat. Add all the vegetables and cook until softened but not browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 3

  • Add the bay leaves and thyme, then deglaze the pot with the white wine and cook until it completely evaporates then add the remaining turkey carcass.
  • Season liberally with kosher salt and pepper then cover mixture with water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour.

Step 4

  • Add 4 leg-thigh pieces and continue to simmer for another 40 to 45 minutes, until the turkey is tender. Skim off the scum that rises at the beginning.

Step 5

  • Lift out the leg-thigh joints and, when cool enough to handle, pull off and reserve the meat. Discard the carcasses and any stray bones and skim a little fat from the soup if you like.

Step 6

  • Bring soup to a boil, add the orzo, and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes.

To make the Avgolemono

  • As the orzo cooks, get everything together in order to work quickly when making the egg-lemon sauce.Draw off 2 cups of the turkey broth, without any of the vegetables (or orzo), return the picked turkey meat to the soup. Slowly drizzle the warm turkey broth into the egg yolks, whisking all the time. Place the egg whites in a food processor and turn it on. When the whites begin to froth, after about 30 seconds, add the lemon juice, keeping the motor running all the time.When the whites are very frothy and thick, another 45 to 60 seconds, add the dill, and process for 10 to 15 seconds more while you season liberally with salt and pepper.Pour in the egg yolk mixture and immediately turn the machine off.

To serve

  • Pour the Avgolemono over the soup and serve immediately before it deflates.