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Turkey Orzo Avgolemono Soup

Turkey avgolemono soup (turkey orzo soup) is creamy, light and bursting with lemon and dill for freshness. This classic lemon orzo Greek soup traditionally made with chicken is a great option for leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

I feel very un-American saying this but usually white, creamy soups freak me out.

Creamy turkey orzo soup in a large white bowl.

Pretty sure it all traces back to a long ago run in with a can of cream of mushroom soup that I thought you just ate as is not realizing you’re supposed to add water. 

I gag a little just thinking about that.

A few years after that experience I went to Greece right after my high school graduation.

Among moussaka, patstisio and what seemed like a million Greek salads over the course of 10 days, I had a single bowl of avgolemono soup that completely changed my tune about creamy white soups.

It was creamy, but not overly so, bright and fresh thanks to lemon and dill but hearty and filling thanks to the orzo.

In short, perfection.

I’ve had a few bowls since in the U.S. and unfortunately not a single one has compared, not even the one I got AT a local Greek festival.

When you add eggs to hot liquid (like in hot and sour egg drop soup) it can either be amazing or a hot mess. Unfortunately, I seem to have tried the hot messes.

Don’t be freaked out by the egg thing either, if you temper them correctly (and that’s not hard, just takes some constant whisking) you’ll be fine.

If you’re lazy about it, you’re gonna end up with scrambled eggs in a lemon soup and that’s not only weird, it’s gross. Don’t be lazy.

Avgolemono usually has chicken in it but what better time to switch things up then Thanksgiving when you probably have pounds upon pounds of leftover turkey sitting in your fridge?

When that happens, you’ll find me either making turkey stew or this Greek soup.

{Looking for more Thanksgiving leftover ideas? Check out these stuffing frittata bites and open faced turkey cranberry enchilada melts.}

I was so excited to have Ulysses try this one knowing that I willingly made a traditional Greek dish and he didn’t even have to drop hints about wanting it to get me to.

What was his response on the first spoonful? “I don’t like dill.” Um, excuse me? You’re first generation Greek and YOU DON’T LIKE DILL? I can’t even guys…

Since you can’t trust a dill hating Greek, take it from me, this turkey orzo soup is amazing.

If you’re not hosting, make sure you grab some leftover turkey from whoever is and put this one on the menu for sometime over the long weekend!

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey orzo Soup in a white bowl next to a spoon.

Ingredients Needed

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • yellow onion
  • carrots
  • chicken broth
  • water
  • fresh lemon juice
  • eggs
  • orzo
  • fresh dill
  • salt and pepper
  • leftover shredded turkey

How to Make Creamy Turkey Orzo Soup (with leftover turkey)

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion and cook until softened. Then add the carrots and cook for another couple of minutes.

Pour in the broth and water and bring to a low simmer.

Take out 1 cup of the liquid and transfer it to a blender. Allow it to cool, then add the eggs and lemon juice. Blend until foamy.

Stir the orzo into the pot with the veggies and cook until tender.

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pot whisking constantly.

Season with salt, pepper, and dill.

Add the leftover shredded turkey and stir.

Greek Lemon Orzo Turkey Soup topped with garnish in a white bowl.

FAQs and Expert Tips

  • When pouring in the eggs, do this slowly over low heat. If it’s too hot or you pour them in all at one time you will end up with scrambled eggs!
  • As the turkey orzo soup sits it will thicken. It will also thicken up after being in the refrigerator. You can add additional broth or water to thin it out when reheating.
  • While this turkey soup is best served the day it’s made, it will last up to 4 days in the fridge.
  • To freeze, allow the soup to cool completely. Then transfer to a container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stovetop once it comes to room temperature.
  • You can also use this same recipe and replace the turkey with leftover shredded chicken. In that case though, you may want to try this buffalo chicken soup with orzo instead.
Is orzo rice or pasta?

Orzo is pasta that looks very similar to rice.

Do you wash orzo before cooking?

You don’t need to for this turkey soup recipe. However, if you were using orzo in a pasta salad, rinsing it before cooking removes the starchy coating on the outside and will hold dressings and seasonings better.

MORE CREAMY SOUPS TO TRY:

Creamy Root Vegetable Soup
Thai Buttercup Squash Soup
Creamy Garlic Brussels Sprout Soup
Creamy Carrot Soup with White Beans and Fennel

Turkey Avgolemono Soup

Turkey Avgolemono Soup

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This classic lemon orzo Greek soup traditionally made with chicken is a great option for leftover Thanksgiving turkey. It's creamy, light and bursting with lemon and dill for freshness.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup orzo
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • leftover shredded turkey

Instructions

  1. Place the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent but not browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots to the pot and cook another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth and water then bring to a low simmer.
  5. Remove about 1 cup of liquid from the pot with a ladle and transfer to a blender. Let cool a few minutes then add the eggs and lemon juice to the blender and blend until foamy, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
  6. Add the orzo to the pot, stir, cover and let cook until tender about 7 minutes.
  7. Remove the cover and slowly pour the egg mixture from the blender into the pot over low heat, whisking constantly as you do this. Don't pour too fast or over too high a heat otherwise, you'll end up with scrambled eggs in your soup!
  8. Add the dill to the pot and season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Lastly, add as much leftover shredded turkey as you'd like and stir to combine.
  10. Soup will thicken as it sits and especially once refrigerated.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 144Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 735mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 11g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen


 

Marina

Friday 12th of November 2021

I tried it! I think this is the best soup I ever made - used leftover turkey from Thanksgiving - so lemony and fragrant with the dill. And the egg part really was easy - just keep whisking like the directions say. Thickening without cream - who knew? This is one for our family recipe book - many thanks! 😊

Sal

Monday 30th of November 2020

This is a keeper! We just finished a late lunch, and enjoyed bowls of this along with sandwiches. I can't wait to try it after it's been refrigerated overnight, and it's thickened up a bit more.

Karen Laura

Wednesday 19th of June 2019

Thank you for posting this receipe ! Just wonderful. I also will use tempered eggs in other cream soups instead of other dairy products.

Jana @ OhThatsTasty

Sunday 29th of November 2015

I LOVE avgolemono soup! I've never had it in Greece: only in my own kitchen. I like to use basil in it; you might try that on Mr. Dillhater. I'm sure it's not traditional, but I like to add a little spinach, too. More veggies in the bowl!

Genius idea to use leftover turkey, too!

Running to the Kitchen

Sunday 29th of November 2015

Love the idea of basil! Definitely trying that next time.

Margaret Ann @ MAK and Her Cheese

Saturday 28th of November 2015

I love the idea of using eggs to make it creamy! Looks fabulous. Do you think the egg would solidify in the soup if I reheat it a lot? (I like my soup really hot ;)

Running to the Kitchen

Saturday 28th of November 2015

Nope, it will be fine reheated as long as you temper it properly when making the soup. I've reheated multiple times without issue!

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