This vegan avgolemono soup is a plant-based version of traditional Greek Easter soup. It’s made with lots of lemon, rice, and dill. It’s homey, hearty, and it tastes even better after a day or two in the fridge!

Vegan Avgolemono (Greek Easter Soup with Lemon) | The Full Helping

For those of us whose families hail from Greece (or the Ukraine, or Russia), Easter wasn’t last week. It’s actually today, which means that I can greet you all with a heart “Christos Anesti!” In honor of the holiday, I’m sharing a vegan spin on one of my favorite Greek recipes: a vegan avgolemono soup

A frequent fear among the newly vegan is that veganism will disrupt or even ruin cherished family holidays. What’s Thanksgiving without turkey, people wonder, or Passover without gefilte fish, or Christmas without a roast? Well, let me assure you all that these holidays can be every bit as rich—or more so—when your meals have been prepared without any injury done to animals.

Beyond that, I think we all tend to think of holidays as fixed, unchanging things: rituals so sacred that any modification will be an affront to family and upbringing. When you think about it, though, this is so far from the truth. Holidays are always in flux, because our families are always in flux: new spouses, children, and friends are welcomed into the fold, and as this happens, traditions change. Dinners are served in new homes, with new recipes and new faces. Holidays accommodate us as we evolve and change; we don’t need to resist personal transformation in order to keep them intact.

Greek Easter was a big deal in my little family as I was growing up. And avgolemono soup–which is traditionally made both with egg and lamb–was the centerpiece of our meal.

Vegan Avgolemono (Greek Easter Soup with Lemon) | The Full Helping

I’ve searched for vegan avgolemono for a long time, and none of the recipes I’ve seen blown me away. I wanted something quick, simple, tart, and very much like the creamy soup I remember, sans egg (which is the traditional thickener). I think I’ve figured it out, and let me tell you: it was so much easier than I thought it would be. Here, folks, is a vegan avgolemono that’s tangy from the lemon, creamy from miso and tahini, and full of nutritious, grounding brown basmati rice. It’s as good as it gets, and it makes me so happy to carry on a family recipe tradition in my own way.

Vegan Avgolemono | The Full Helping
5 from 1 vote

Vegan Avgolemono Soup

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup long-grain white or brown rice (substitute 1 cup dry orzo)
  • 6 cups vegan no-chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white miso
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup packed, chopped fresh dill

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook the onion for 4-5 minutes, or until it’s clear and soft. Add the shallots, carrots, and celery. Cook the vegetables for another 4 minutes, until the carrots are just becoming tender. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute, until it’s fragrant. Add tablespoons of broth or water as needed to prevent sticking as you cook the vegetables.
  • Add the rice to the pot. Swirl it around for a minute to toast it, then add the broth and salt. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the soup for 20-40 minutes (less time for white rice, longer time for brown rice).
  • When soup is almost done cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, miso, tahini or cashew cream, and a few tablespoons of hot broth from the soup. Add this slurry back to the soup, along with the nutritional yeast. Whisk it all thoroughly, till smooth. Stir in the dill and cook for a few more moments. Serve. Soup will keep, refrigerated, for up to four days, and it can be frozen for up to a month.
Vegan Avgolemono (Greek Easter Soup with Lemon) | The Full Helping

Hope you guys give the recipe a shot; you don’t have to be Greek to enjoy it! Winking smile

What traditional holiday recipes have you veganized or added a vegan meal to recently? I’d love to hear how you’ve brought your vegan values to holiday gatherings with family and friends.

xo

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Recipe Rating




    67 Comments
  1. Wonderful recipe. I made it for the first time years ago, Nad still crave it often! Thank you, Gena.

  2. Thank you!!! I had this soup (non-vegan) recently before we went on a vegan diet and was in love. I was scouting the internet for the right vegan egg replacement when I found this exact recipe for the vegan version of the soup. Thanks for this! Making it tonight

  3. This recipe didn’t work for me. There was no tanginess and then when I added some more lemon it just tasted like vegetable soup with lemon added to it. Not sure what went wrong.

  4. Omg just made this it came out so good!!! Thanks for the recipe i cant wait to make it again at Easter

  5. I made this tonight for my family and they loved it! It was so close to my non-vegan recipe with milk and eggs. I see a lot of vegan recipes that have miso. What is that ingredient for? Could you please tell me why it is included in this recipe. Thanks. 🙂

    • Hi Janet,

      Sure! Miso contributes two main things: first, saltiness. Second, it has umami, which a lot of folks find helpful in replacing the umami that often comes from animal foods in non-vegan recipes. It’s also (depending on the type of miso) mildly sweet. I include it in recipes often, but using extra salt can be a decent replacement.

      Gena

  6. Oh wow – this is amazing! I was honestly really skeptical about the combination of tahini, miso, and nutritional yeast… but it magically ended up tasting just like Avgolemono! I followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious, just the right amount of lemon. I had really been craving Avgolemono so I’m so happy to have this vegan version. Thank you!

  7. After it comes to a boil and we are suppose to simmer it, should I put a lid on or leave it open to simmer?

    • Hi Rochelle! My favorite method with soups is actually to leave the lid on, but leave it open a crack to let steam escape. Hope that helps.

      • Thank you so much! I made this today and it turned out like a risotto, but it was still very good. Next time, I think I will just add a little more broth. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. Loved, loved, loved this recipe! It’s perfect for a drizzly Florida evening. Thanks for working so hard to pull the flavor combinations together. It’s perfect in every way!

  9. I am so excited for this soup! I am making it tonight for a dinner party with friends. I tried it once at a greek restaurant years ago, and have wished for a vegan version ever since.

  10. I’m thoroughly impressed. This soup is not only delicious on it’s own (my partner who has never had Avgolemono loves it), but wow, it really fills the void left by Avgolemono. Growing up as my Greek grandpa’s sidekick, Avgolemono was my FAVORITE food. Period. I haven’t eaten it in over ten years, and never thought I could make a vegan version. Thank you for making my childhood food dreams come back to life!!!

  11. This is amazing. I too am Greek. I also told my yiayia that I was a vegetarian and could not eat her chicken pitas, she stopped looked at me for a few minutes and in her broken english said, “oh honey its okay its just chicken you can eat, eat!” To her chicken was not meat, the only meat that really mattered to her was lamb, of course. I have made vegetarian versions of her avgolemono soup and am very excited to try this vegan one!

  12. Wow, I just made this recipe and it is fantastic! I am Greek also and a first time reader (I have been searching for vegan recipes since we are fasting during lent) and when I am across this I wanted to try it. First thank you for introducing me to nutritional yeast. This soup is not only easy to make it is yummy. Great job. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Brava Gena! (or Eugenia I think is the original name in Greek), this is by far the best vegan augolemono recipe I have ever tasted.

  14. Thank you for posting this. Just started on the vegetarian journey (one month in) and I honestly started to regret it (almost) because the thought of not eating this soup ever again makes me really sad. My parents live in Greece, while I am in the US, and I just love this soup for the tradition, memories and especially the taste! I can’t wait to try your version! I have high hopes;)

  15. Simply excellent! I didn’t have any dill but didn’t want to wait to try the recipe. The soup was fabulous!!

  16. I don’t know what this traditional egg-based soup is supposed to taste like, but I know this tastes great! Thanks for sharing the recipe, Gena. I liked the hint of tahini with the dill. I swapped quinoa for the rice with great results. 🙂

  17. I’ve tried so many times to veganize avgolemono, to no avail! I can make a pretty good vegetarian version, but without eggs it’s tough. I will definitely try this one. It looks delicious!

  18. Gena, I love your sentiment that holidays are always in flux. This is so true, and I’ve just never thought of it this way before. We all have traditions, but one holiday is never the same as the one previous. Holidays were something that concerned me when I became vegan because my family loves to stick to tradition. I’ve since overcome my fears and survived my first round of vegan family holidays, but thanks for the words of support and encouragement!

  19. Gena, I made this yesterday and it turned out perfectly! I did cut down on the miso and tahini as I don’t like those two together too much. Boy oh boy this soup is good! I will never get to taste my mum’s chicken avgolemono ever again now that I’m vegan but your soup is a mighty fine replacement. I’m so glad it’s autumn where I am now as I envisage this being my cold weather soup of choice!

    I started a blog journalling my move to veganism but I anticipate it will end up being a Gena fan blog because so many of your recipes turn out fab!

  20. Awesome looking soup Gena! I love the idea that holidays are constantly in flux and changing just like people. Just because something is considered a tradition does not mean it has to be inflexible. Great thought-provoking post!

  21. I love that scene! For Italians, it is similar. Red meat = meat, and chicken = chicken. What a great movie.

    Looks like a delicious soup!

  22. This is awesome! I hope I can make it for my Greek in-laws someday. Happy Greek Easter!

  23. Thank you so much! I have been wanting to attempt to make avgolemono soup for years and now that I am a vegetarian and don’t even have the option to go grab a bowl in Greektown my cravings have gotten worse. I can’t wait to try this out!

  24. sorry to totally ignore your questions! this soup looks very interesting! i have a question and am curious if this is common. i’ve been eating less meat lately and incorporating more veg/fats in my diet and i am dropping weight. is this normal? i did just get off birth control 3 months ago exactly so i’m wondering if that has something to do with it as well?

    • Hey Melissa!

      It sounds to me as though you could use some grains and more carbs. In my experience, any diet in which protein, fat, or complex carbs is lacking/imbalanced can lead to weight loss and other problems. Try adding some grains of choice, and see how it goes?

      G

  25. Long time reader, first time poster, and fellow Greek vegan! Thank you so very much for figuring out how to turn my favorite Greek holiday recipe vegan. Spanakopita, moussaka, melomakarona, pantespani, patates sto fourno- those were all fun to figure out, but I’ve been hesitant to even attempt a vegan avgolemono. I’ll be trying this recipe as soon as I restock my tahini and nooch! Any chance you’d take on galaktoboureko?

  26. Yesterday I was homesick, super far away from big Greek family. Thank you for this post! Also I can’t say enough how refreshing it is that you talk about BOTH the nutritional benefits of being vegan and the animal rights. I am absolutely a vegan for the animals though the nutrition certainly doesn’t hurt. I am so happy to see all the attention being paid to the nutrition of a vegan diet recently but THANK YOU for talking about the animals!!!

    • You’re so welcome! Thank YOU for noticing and caring yourself…I became vegan for my health, but it would feel very empty now without animal rights in the picture.

  27. This looks divine….I cannot wait to try this, I am a huge fan of veganized cultural dishes. It was also wonderful to hear about your family and your own culture. It’s just fascinating to hear about other cultures straight from the people who are descended from them. 🙂

    Honestly, so far every time I’ve made a dish at a holiday–nobody’s eaten it!!! Or they tried a few bites and maintained “tradition.” Oy… I do have a cousin who makes huge amounts of roasted veggies especially for me though, which is kind and thoughtful and it’s a dish everyone eats. I just feel like if I make roasted veggies A) she already makes them so what’s the point, and B) it’s a cop-out! >.<

    I have made pumpkin muffins that didn't turn out right, a chocolate pumpkin pie with coconut whipped cream that probably could have been sweeter and nobody ate because every woman at the holiday for some reason seemed to have brought their own pie so everyone was eating their own, a hilarious looking tofurkey (well, I think they're all especially hilarious looking) that relatives tried and were surprised at how it tasted–which I guess was sort of a victory, although they were weirded out by it's small ball-shape…. I always feel rather humiliated bringing in things I make because nobody seems to want to eat them!! 🙁 Oh well.

  28. Christos Anesti! I’ll be making this soon! For “Greek Easter,” my veggie menu included green beans with shallots + orange zest, oven roasted carrots + broccoli with balsamic reduction and some home-made tiropitas. (There was tenderloin for the meat-eaters.) So glad to find your blog from a link from Peas + ThankYou.

  29. Gena, any chance you could whip up some raw soups? I’d love a delicious raw soup recipe!

  30. My family is Russian and our Easter (rather, Pascha) celebrations are among my most treasured traditions! This is the first year I’ve been vegetarian, but I’m finding ways to make it work. I’d love to try this recipe! Anything Mediterranean-inspired gets a huge thumbs-up from me.

  31. I love pressure cooker recipes! I also like how you shared a dish from your culture and a story behind it.

  32. This looks so good and I love that I have almost all of the ingredients on hand right this minute. I may have to whip up a batch this week!

    • Update: Made this for dinner tonight. It was delicious. The hubby went back for more. There are are no leftovers.

      Thanks so much for the great recipe! 🙂

  33. Just finished a big bowl of this! It was delicious and tangy…didn’t expect it to come together so well, but it was great, thanks for the yummy recipe!

  34. Wow, why am I not Greek? Easter was often quiches for my big catholic family. And even though I loved meat as a kid, I abhorred eggs, especially in the form of omelettes, quiches, and deviled concoctions. Had this soup been present, I think I would have loved it! I’m definitely going to try this recipe soon, although I might use forbidden rice since I have it on hand. Hope that doesn’t ruin the recipe! Happy Easter!

  35. Looks amazing Gena! I love lemon in soup, and lemon in general, just brings things ‘alive’. This sounds like a classic combination, and that vid clip is classic too, SO funny. And, kind of familiar… “I’m vegetarian, just eat fish”. 😉

  36. Gena! Χριστός ἀνέστη! So nice to meet a fellow Greek focused on a vegan lifestyle. Can’t wait to try this recipe. (PS – loved the clip. my Yiayia reacts the same way).

  37. This looks fabulous, love that it uses tahini and miso – yum! We really have no traditional family recipes that I’ve veganized yet, but I’ve been having fun bringing new vegan recipes to family gatherings.

  38. We’re heading into soup season here, so I am really excited about this! I have never heard of Avgolemono, despite many childhood (and adult) visits to Greektown when I used to live in Michigan. Yours sounds better than the original though 🙂

  39. I’m really excited to try this soup! If it weren’t for the fact that I don’t have any carrots in the fridge at the moment, I would’ve already whipped it up.

  40. My Romanian family is pretty much the same. My godfather FLIPPED OUT in a Whole Foods when I told him I was a vegetarian, then asked if my dad knew because he was going to “tell on me” haha. This soup looks amazing!

    • You’d think the fact that you were in a Whole Foods would have given it away lol. My mother still pretends to forget every single time we get together, and cooks meat AND NOTHING ELSE. Meat and meat sauce. And then acts like I’m causing her some great injustice by not eating it. You’d think that she’d remember for all the emotional distress she appears to go through.

  41. I visited Athens a few years ago and fell in love with avgolemono and other similar dishes, like potatoes served with an egg-lemon sauce. I mastered making my own but then stopped eating eggs and have been yearning for a vegan version ever since. Thank you!

  42. I hope your mom will love it! I’ve been contemplating a tahini/nooch/miso sauce for cauliflower for dinner tonight.

    I’m not a rice fan, but your pictures make that soup look so alluring–creamy and comforting.

  43. Ah I love that scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding! I love when you put funny youtube videos on your blog 😀

  44. That soup sounds great, Gena. The rice and the nutritional yeast, carrots, spices…mmm, sounds comforting and hearty!

    Good for you for showing your relatives that vegan can be delicious with recipes like this one!