Fancy a cosy soup this weekend? Well, why not try a GREEK creamy chicken soup inside a GREEK bread bowl by Michelle from Glykia Zoi ~ Sweet Life! Could it get any Greeker?! Check out the original post and find out more about food-blogger Michelle on The Greek Wives Club. Here is her recipe!
Greek Creamy Chicken Soup Inside A Greek Bread Bowl
As Spring hovers in waiting, my longing for outdoor afternoons that turn into late evenings has become even more pronounced. If only it were Spring all year long, with the exception of a few warmer months, high 70’s – low 80’s would be perfect.
After three long months of freezing weather, it was finally sunny & beautiful on the first Saturday since…I can’t remember when, so we stained & assembled a picnic table for our backyard. I am looking forward to enjoying a cup of coffee while listening to the birds chirping away & watching my son enjoy a wholesome breakfast at a table our family created together.
I am especially looking forward to eating there as a family, laughing & enjoying the outdoors that we love so much. I’m not quite sure how well my romanticized meals will work out, being that the picnic table is beneath two giant trees, easily 100′ tall each, & full of little curious critters. I guess I’m soon to find out.
Our picnic table project was one of the most enjoyable activities I have experienced all winter long. Every moment felt perfect though, one of those days you wish you could freeze in time, forever. My son ran about, joyfully having a great time in the yard while my husband hummed away, piecing picnic table parts together. He did a great job, although he did put two legs on backwards & had to undo those. As in recipes, it’s always a good practice to read through the entire instruction before proceeding, I gently reminded him.
With that being said, this is definitely one recipe you’ll want to read through entirely before proceeding. You’ll need a plan of action to tackle this. It’s a simple recipe, but complex in it’s steps, you’ll need lots of time on your hands.
If there’s one food that says comfort, it’s a bread bowl full of hot, rich, & filling soup. Even though we had that one beautiful sunny day, the following day was cooler, in the 50’s & windy. Now it is back to the low 40’s again, feeling wintery & indoor bound, I couldn’t stop thinking of ways to get warm. Thoughts of bread bowls full of Chowders, Cheese & Broccoli & so on made my craving insatiable.
Since we rarely eat out at restaurants, my creativity in the kitchen is constantly being challenged in ways I never imagined possible. Mostly due to the little person that seems to have a never-ending idea of what meal he wants. From 7am-midnight, I am a short order cook, a Greek mom that cannot let her baby go hungry. No way possible! You’re hungry honey? Of course Momma will make you whatever you want. I know what you’re thinking, I think the same thing too. But when those little eyes are staring up at you with those rosy cheeks, begging you to make their favorite hot dog with cheese meal because they didn’t want to eat your extra crispy, mysterious looking Spanakopita loaded with bright green spinach, well…how can you say no?! After all, what toddler likes spinach? Especially spinach & onion drenched in peppery extra virgin olive oil, surrounded by salty feta, enveloped in crispy filo dough.
Restaurant food used to be the only food I wanted to eat, all the time. Then I realized it was the only time my son would actually eat nothing other than chips & salsa because we inhabited Mexican Food restaurants as if we had taken ownership of them. Trust me, if I had a great Greek restaurant that prepared Greek food my way, I would have moved in & never left. As I believe to be the case with most of us, when we are raised on a certain taste, we have a very high expectation that it will taste exactly the same way & oftentimes, those unique flavors are only made at home, with love. That all changed when I began watching the popular show -Kitchen Nightmares. Since then, I have been on a mission to eat at home for every meal. It took only one show to convince me but I keep watching, just in case I revert to my old desires & find myself needing a restaurant fix.
Oh yes, now back to this recipe! I wanted to make one of my favourite comfort foods, Greek.
I have been making this Greek Kalamata Olive Bread for over 20 years & it is always perfect. Normally, it’s in a loaf form but this time I wanted my own personal bread bowl. I purposely made these bread bowls shallow because I wanted it to hold up to a hearty soup with a lot of broth, knowing some of you love broth & will make extra to accommodate.
I love the crusty exterior this bread has, it’s my favourite part. It also has that wonderfully soft chewy interior you would expect. This bread is perfect for dipping, in fact, it was made for dipping. My favorite way to enjoy this bread is dipping it in olive oil with Himalayan Sea Salt & Greek Oregano, always with a touch of Balsamic Vinegar.
You may have looked at this soup & wondered, so what makes this Chicken Soup – Greek?
Well, although it does look like just a typical chicken soup, it is actually made with Greek herbs & the broth is Avgolemono. Avgolemono means Egg – Avgo & Lemon – Lemono in Greek ~ Pronounced – ahv-goh-LEH-mohn-oh. This Greek Creamy Chicken Soup is infused with the classic Greek lemon & egg flavor which gives it its own distinction. What makes it creamy is a bit of almond milk & the Avgolemono. Something about adding lemon to eggs is magical, it immediately turns creamy & has the most incredible flavor.
We love our soups thick & rich, so thick, you may not even call them a soup any longer. You may have seen my recipe for traditional Greek Avgolemono. You will notice with all of my soups, they are all thick, rich & hearty. A meal in a bowl. I love broths but the real reason I’m eating the soup is for what it contains. I also don’t want to feel hungry an hour later, nor do I want whom I am feeding to either! 🙂
Note: If you are using the bread bowls, you will
want to prepare those before starting the soup.
Ingredients for Soup
As with all of my recipes, please feel you can make them vegan or vegetarian friendly!
1 Lemon – juiced
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
2 Large Chicken Breasts – Boneless & skinless
2 Carrots – peeled & cut into round pieces
2 Celery Stalks- chopped into small pieces
1 Heaping cup of dried Egg Noodles – I used Amish Kitchen’s Extra Wide Egg Noodles
2 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth – Pacific Foods is best or homemade
4 Cups Filtered Water
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Garlic Granules
2 Laurel/Bay Leaves
1 Tablespoon Ghee or Butter
1 Tablespoon Marjoram
1 Tablespoon Greek Oregano
1 Tablespoon Himalayan Sea Salt
1 Tablespoon Freshly ground pepper
Ingredients for the Bread Bowls
1 Pound Flour – conversion is 3 & 1/3 Cups
1 Packet of Yeast
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 & 1/4 Cups of Water
1 Tablespoon Marjoram
1 Tablespoon Greek Oregano
2 Heaping Tablespoons Kalamata Olives
2 Heaping Tablespoons Pickled Capers
Instructions For Greek Creamy Chicken Soup
1. Simmer chicken breasts in the water & broth with the Marjoram, Olive Oil, Butter, Garlic, Greek Oregano, Salt, Laurel Leaves & Pepper for two hours
2. Meanwhile, chop the celery into small pieces & carrots into thin rounds – set aside
3. When chicken is through cooking, shred & set aside – reserve broth
4. Add to the broth the carrots, celery & egg noodles and boil for 5 minutes
5. Meanwhile, whisk the egg & lemon together well
6. With the broth still hot, begin slowly ladling it slowly into the egg & lemon while whisking constantly. Do this very slowly so your eggs do not cook
7. Slowly continue to add at least three hot ladles of broth to the egg mixture until the eggs mixture is hot
8. Pour egg mixture & almond milk into the pan with the egg noodles, carrots, celery & remaining broth, simmer until almost all liquid has been absorbed
9. Ladle into the prepared bread bowls & serve immediately
Instructions for Greek Bread Bowls
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast & salt, whisk well
2. Slowly adding in water, continue to mix with your hands
3. When mixed well, knead for 3 minutes, form into a ball, roll in olive oil and put in a clean bowl with a towel covering the top. Set aside in a microwave or other warm space for 1 hour
4. Bring bread out & begin kneading in the chopped Greek olives & capers – about 5 minutes
5. When mixed well, knead into a ball & let rise again in a clean bowl with olive oil for two hours
6. Remove from the bowl and measure into four rounds, about 7oz. each
7. Roll each mound of dough into a smooth ball & set on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil under each bread mound
8. Let rise in a warm space for 1 hour
9. Make two slits in bread for design, salt the top of the bread tops, let rise again for 30 minutes
10. Bake for 10 minutes at 400
11. Reduce heat to 375 Degrees, pour a bit of olive oil on each bread round & bake for another 20-25 minutes or until golden brown as seen in photos. This bread has a crunchy exterior. If you knock on the underside of the bread, it should sound hollow & look crisp & brown.
12. Let bread cool before handling – then cut a circle around the top, remove but reserve tops
13. Scoop out bread inside, your shell should be crisp & a bit hard – will soften if stored.