Avgolemono with Sizzled Paprika Butter


This soup is just as great with turkey as it is with chicken, so keep this in the rotation all year long. If you’ve got any bones or carcasses left over, throw them in with the soup to simmer – they’ll enhance the flavor even more, just pluck them out before adding the eggs and yogurt. If you don't have any stock left over but have a turkey or chicken carcass lying around, throw it in a pot with some water and whatever veg you have on hand and simmer for an hour or so – it will go very far in this soup to start with a flavorful base.

Active Time: 45 Mins

Total Time: 45 mins

Screenshot 2023-11-22 at 6.05.03 PM


  • 3 large lemons
  • 2 bunches of spinach or kale


  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • ¾ cup white rice (any kind)
  • 8-10 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • ¾ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika


  • ¾ cup whole milk yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • 1 lb leftover roast turkey or chicken (preferably dark meat)
  • 2 large eggs

1. Start the soup:

  • Place ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds in a small resealable plastic bag or a mortar and pestle. Pound until coarsely ground.
  • In a large pot, combine 8 cups of turkey or chicken stock, ¾ cup uncooked white rice, and a big pinch of salt. Add the crushed sesame seeds to the broth. Season with a lot of freshly ground pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Once the broth is simmering, drop in 1 pound of leftover chicken or turkey meat (Ideally, dark meat, which will get more and more tender as the soup simmers). If your leftovers are still on the bone (drumsticks, thighs, etc.), drop the whole thing in the pot – those bones will help create a super flavorful broth. If it’s already been cut off the bone, shred it into pieces as you add it to the broth. Reserve any white meat you have for adding just at the end, so it doesn't overcook.
  • Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle burbling simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the rice has swelled and is soft, 25-30 minutes. The longer you cook, the more porridge like this soup will become as the rice will continue to swell. Once the rice has swollen, if it looks like you need more broth (it can get very thick) add another cup or so (you can also use water here to thin it out.) If you’ve got any bones in the soup, pluck them out and discard them, leaving behind just the shredded meat.

2. Add the eggs and lemon juice:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together ½ cup fresh lemon juice and 2 large eggs. Whisk vigorously until homogenous, then whisk in ¾ cup whole milk yogurt. Once the rice is tender and swollen, scoop out about 1½ cups of the soup and add it to the eggs. Whisk again to combine. This will warm them slightly so they don’t go into shock as they enter the soup.
  • With the soup still simmering, stir the egg-yogurt mixture back into the soup pot.
  • Stir in 2 bunches of spinach (or whatever green you’re using, stripping it from its stems and tearing it if it’s a larger leaf, like kale). If you’ve got any white meat to add, this is a good time. Return to a very gentle simmer, to allow the eggs to cook and the broth to thicken slightly. The soup will turn a creamy pale color and the spinach will wilt. Taste and adjust seasoning. It will probably need a lot of salt!! Lemon tends to mute the power of salt. Add more pepper to taste.

3. Make the spicy sizzled sesame butter:

  • In a small skillet, melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter. Once melted, add 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, ¾ tsp red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp paprika, swirling to incorporate. Cook for 1 minute until very fragrant and the butter is stained deep red. Remove from heat and season with a big pinch of flaky salt.

4. serve:

  • Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Top each one with a drizzle of spicy sesame butter. Finely grate some lemon zest over each bowl and serve hot.