Horta = Vegetable. Hortamatic = Traditional recipe gone veganized goodness.


December 19, 2009

Avgolemono, or Lemono

Intros and Inspirations

This really is the perfect wintery soup, though I first tasted it in the summertime. My Yaya (grandmother in Greek) was the first person who made Avgolemono for me. My brother and I called it “chicken-rice soup,” but Avgolemono literally means, “egg-lemon,” and was a playa in my eventual transition to veganism.

When I was around 12, we all went to the market and picked up some chickens for the soup. The chickens were tied together by their feet and thrown in the trunk. Afterward, they remained tied together, awaiting their soup-fate under the balcony. I remember somehow passing them up and then returning when I noticed how frightened they looked, all tied together and forgotten on the cement like that. Then, 'chop!' and my Yaya made the soup.

That day, I refused to eat it. This would be a great story of a heroic young Vegan of Arc except the next day I remembered a burrito I couldn't give up at Taco Time, and continued to eat animals. (Taco Time!) But it was this experience, along with many others, that would pave the way for my future as vegan-cupcake-maker and eater. And presently, as avgo-less Avgolemono soup maker.

History of Dish

It's Greek. Homer ate it.


In our first installment of not re-inventing the vegan wheel, Hortamatic presents to you a recipe created elsewhere by another vegan, in this case, One Chubby Vegan. The recipe in entirety can be found here, awaiting your lemons:


For the version I made (pictured here), I made the following changes:

  • No tamari or nutritional yeast
  • I added 1 teaspoon salt
  • Rather than at the end, I added a chopped Delight Soy chicken patty in the beginning with the broth, to better seep into the soup

And here he is, Hortamatic's biggest fan, while talking to his sister and enjoying the fire from our wood stove:


Next time I would omit the fresh parsley. Yuck. Feel free to keep if you're not a parsley hater. Cilantro would be a nice addition though anti-Greek.


Delicious....creamy, zesty, filling...as I remembered it, without worrying about the chickens under the balcony.


  1. Thanks for sharing! Sounds yummy. I will definitely try it!

  2. O.M.G. - I completely forgot about this soup. This post just took me down memory lane. I love you for it!

  3. Just returned to make this on our first snow day in Durham....and realized, what if the blog post I am referencing from One Chubby Vegan is removed?! With this in mind, I post the recipe from their site:

    OneChubbyVegan's Veganized Avgolemono Soup

    1 quart vegetable both
    1/4 C long-grain white rice
    3 TB nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
    2 tsp tamari (optional)
    1 C soymilk, or other unsweetened vegan "milk" of choice
    2 TB cornstarch
    1/4 tsp tumeric
    1/3 C finely chopped chicken-style seitan (homemade or storebought)
    2 TB vegan margarine or extra-virgin olive oil
    1/4 to 1/3 C fresh lemon juice (use 1/4, then test for tartness, and add more if necessary)
    zest from 1 small lemon, or 1/2 large lemon
    1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
    Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 to 1 tsp of salt, and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of pepper)
    Fresh dill for garnish (optional)

    Add vegetable broth, rice, nutritional yeast, and tamari (if using) to medium stockpot. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, until rice is cooked.

    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the soymilk, cornstarch, and tumeric with a fork or whisk and set aside.

    When 25 minutes is up, re-stir the soymilk mixture, and add to soup. Stir well, until thickened. Add seitan, margarine, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix well, and test for tartness. If more tart flavor is desired, add extra lemon juice.

    Add parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir well. Serve with some freshly snipped dill, if desired. This recipe will double well.