Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Avgolemono Soup with Pastina from 'Cold Pasta' by James McNair

Well it is nearly summer and perhaps there will come a point when hot food seems a bad idea which I think was why I bought this book many years ago, but perhaps I was more tempted by the £1.99 price tag, who knows. What I do know is the book along with a few other 'bargains' has languished on my bookshelf and rarely been opened and never used.

Enter Dom's Random Recipe Challenge #39 for May to go grab yourself any of your unused, unloved cookbooks and give them one last chance before the spring clean has them out the house for good. I had a few in my pile, including a fair number of charity fund raisers (Challenge Anneka was in there, never used as well as the Food Aid cookbook) but this James McNair title won and my recipe was the 'Avgolemono Soup with Pastina'. According to the recipe this traditional Greek soup would normally be served hot, but I liked it cold so cold is fine by me.
I had most of the ingredients but no tiny pasta shapes in the cupboard so I just broke up some very think spaghetti into as short lengths as I could by hand. I have scaled the recipe back to use just 1 egg as the full recipe states it will serve 10-12 as a first course and I just needed to feed myself.

2 cups home made chicken stock
one third cup tiny pasta shapes
1 egg
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
salt, pepper
lemon slices and parsley to garnish

  1. heat the chicken stock to a boil and cook the pasta until very al dente.
  2. beat the egg in a bowl until frothy and then beat in the lemon juice.
  3. slowly drizzle one third of the hot stock onto the egg mixture whisking constantly
  4. add the egg mixture back to the pan with the pasta and heat (stirring constantly) but do not boil, just cooking until lightly thickened.
  5. season to taste, and then cool and chill until needed.
  6. to serve stir the soup to distribute the pasta and pour into bowls.
  7. garnish with sliced lemon and parsley if desired.
I did not have any parsley but the buckler sorrel was looking fresh and tender so I picked a few of those highly citrus leaves and garnished with those. I think this would be a perfect soup to soothe a summer cold.


  1. I think I'd prefer this hot, but what a super-quick lunch it would make - lovely!

  2. What a fantastic book title! I have to say 'Cold Pasta' to me summons up clumps of under-seasoned stuck together nastiness so that marketing would have backfired on me. The soup sounds lovely though, one to bookmark to try I think. :-)