How to Make Greek Fish Soup with Avgolemono (Egg-Lemon)

With this recipe, a motley assortment of lesser-known fish can yield a sophisticated, complex soup elevated by a silky egg-lemon sauce.

Preparation & Cooking time: 70'

Serves: 6

The key to achieving the most sumptuous fish soup is to use a variety of fish, as each will add its own character to the final product. The ideal combination is a balanced mixture of lean and oily fish. That said, if you have one preferred fish, you can easily toss it alone in your soup.

If using a mix, small (less than 300g) rockfish are considered ideal for soup thanks to their flavor, together with bigger, meatier fish such as grouper and striped mullet.

Cod, on the other hand, is one of the milder-tasting fish and is better for those who are not big fans of “fishy” tastes. True fish enthusiasts can add even more sea to their plate by throwing in a few fresh crabs or prawns.

Last, and certainly not least, a tip from the experts: use the head! It’s packed with flavor.


Wash the fish, place them in a large colander and salt them. Heat 2.5 liters of water in a large pan until it boils and add the vegetables, olive oil, and a little salt. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes, until they are partially cooked. Place the fish in the pan on top of the vegetables and simmer for another 15 minutes.

To see if the fish are well-cooked, pull out a fin: the fish are ready if the fin is easily removed. Use two slotted spoons to take them gently out and transfer them onto a platter. Debone the fish and place the meat in the center of another platter. Place the vegetables around the fish.

Pour the broth from the pan through a strainer – it should have reduced to about 1.5 liters or slightly more – and pour it back in the pan. Heat up until the broth reaches a rolling boil, add the rice, stir and simmer for 15 minutes (or as indicated on the package). Add salt, pepper and remove from the heat.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with a hand mixer or a whisk until frothy. Bit by bit pour in the lemon juice, stirring until ingredients are uniformly blended. Slowly and carefully, using a ladle, add broth from the pan into the egg-lemon mixture while you stir. When the egg lemon mixture has warmed up, pour it in the pan and stir. Do not cover the pan to prevent the egg from denaturing.

Pour the soup into bowls and serve with the fish platter.

You can eat the lemon soup separately from the fish meat and vegetables or add the fish and vegetables directly in the soup.


Originally published in Greek in




For the soup

  • 5kg fish, descaled and cleaned well
  • 2 medium-size onions, cut in quarters
  • 5-6 celery sprigs with leaves, or 1 small celeriac, peeled and medium-diced
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, medium-diced
  • 1 big potato, in thick slices
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2-3 teacups long-grain rice, well-rinsed
  • salt & fresh ground pepper

For the egg-lemon sauce

  • 2-3 eggs
  • juice from 3 lemons (or less, depending on how you like it)

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