Michelle took me to a coney island near our homes. I hadn't had a gyro in a long time, so it tasted sooo good to me. My family used to eat in a Greek-style family restaurant often, and their chicken lemon rice soup and excellent rolls were a main attraction for me, as well as eggplant or veal parmesan. Michelle had chicken lemon rice soup, so here's a recipe (which I got from a vegetarian cookbook and unvegetarianized. Anita, try it!) You may think lemon doesn't belong in soup, but if you haven't had it before, please trust me and give it a try the next time you eat in a Greek restaurant or coney island.
Avgolemono Soup - fairly easy and fast and good/different
3 cups water or stock, appropriate amount of Better than Bouillion (it's good)
1/4 cup rice
Bring to boil, then simmer 20 minutes. I added two chicken tenders and sliced them when they thawed in the broth. I also added black pepper and about 1/8 of an onion finely sliced. Actually, I added paprika too- although I was a little skeptical about that, I'm pleased with the result.
Add sliced spinach and simmer 5 more minutes. You could add tomatoes instead but I haven't tried it.
Avgolemono refers to an egg and lemon juice sauce (avgo=ovo?) used to thicken the soup so that it resembles a cream soup, because cream is not used in Greek soups. Juice a lemon, and add about two tablespoons of juice to 2 beaten eggs in a bowl. Pour some hot broth into the bowl, beating constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking the way they do in egg drop soup. Pour it all back in. At this point, you can keep heating the soup if necessary, but don't let it boil. Doesn't it taste good?
Searching online reveals that this is the most basic recipe, and some recipes add butter, milk, or cornstarch, while some use only egg yolks or add lemon zest. Some start with cooked rice, a good way to use it up and speed up the process, and a few use orzo. Asparagus and dill are the most popular add-ins, rather than spinach or tomatoes, and parsley is a popular seasoning, as is mint. Most of the recipes are based off of each other, suggesting that there is a general lack of knowledge about this food. I think I'll try cornstarch next time, and maybe milk, and probably lemon zest.
Tomato Orzo Soup sounds good too. And I've got a recipe for moussaka picked out.