One of my favorite at-the-office lunches is a mozzarella sandwich with a side of egg lemon rice soup from Cherry Street Coffeehouse. Delicious on all fronts. Sometimes I get tired of the mozzarella sandwich, but not the egg lemon rice soup, no matter how many times I order it. Trouble is, I can’t always enjoy the soup when I crave it. My work takes me away from the office frequently, and the soups rotate daily. Cherry Street used to have a Twitter account that announced the soup of the day, but it is not consistently updated.
A couple weeks ago, I was craving the soup from afar. I had been wanting to expand my soup-cooking repertoire beyond heating tomato-soup from of a container, so I set out to try making it at home. I googled egg-lemon-rice soup and discovered the recipe is very simple. Half of the ingredients are in the name of the soup. I also learned that this is traditionally a Greek dish, increasing my love for the soup 4-fold. I love Greek food. I love Greece (I spent a semester abroad there in college). Then I remembered I had an un-used Greek cookbook at home. Sure enough, it there was a recipe for my egg lemon soup (avgolemono soup)!
If you’ve never had avgolemono (egg lemon) soup, give it a try. It is not a hearty soup, so you can easily eat it alongside other dishes. The lemon flavoring adds a refreshing aftertaste to the soup. And it took me 15 minutes to make. Boiling the broth and rice requires the largest chunk of time.
I already had eggs and rice on hand, so the biggest cost was the broth (8 cups for each batch). I’ve tried both chicken broth and vegetable broth. Tastes pretty much the same, although I needed to add more lemon juice to the chicken broth version to keep it from tasting like Chicken Soup with Rice. (Does anyone else remember that book? It was one of my early favorites to read aloud with my mom. ”I will eat it on the Nile, atop a crocodile.”)
The icing on the cake (or the seasoning in the soup, if you will) is the money I save in the long run by making this soup at home. With tip included, the sandwich-soup combo meal comes to around $10. If I order just a bowl of soup and a side of bread, it still runs almost $5.00. Admittedly, these prices are in line with other Seattle downtown sandwich shops. And given the quality of taste and ingredients (mostly organic), I am not bothered by the cost of the meal.
Consider, however, that at home one pot gives me at least 6 servings of the soup. The equivalent of which would cost me close to $30 from the coffeehouse. I spent maybe $8 on the broth and the lemon juice (and I’ll likely get 3 batches of soup out of one small lemon juice bottle). Each bowl of soup I’ve just made costs me $1.00 to $1.50.
This isn’t to say I will stop eating at Cherry Street; I still love their sandwiches and some of their other soups. I have simply found a reliable (and tasty) stop-gap for my soup cravings that also saves me money for student loan repayment.
*Photo credit for Featured Image appearing on homepage: Avogolemono by bookchen (Flickr) via Creative Commons.