Chicken soup connotes many things for many people but there are some things that always remain the same.

Chicken soup represents the home, feelings of being safe, warm and getting your health back on track. It’s the classic comfort food and in every culture around the world, everyone has their version of chicken soup for the same reason. Whether it’s pho in Vietnam, tortellini in brodo in Italy or cock-a-leekie soup in the UK, chicken soup is made for pure medicinal purposes.

In Greece, it’s avgolemono. The chicken, lemon and egg soup is used to cure common colds, aches, pains and tummy aches. It’s even been used to cure hangovers. Although the origins are unclear, there are many connections to other cultural sauces, such as Caudle in the UK and in Jewish traditions. The soup itself is made by creating a chicken broth then heating it through with the avgolemono sauce. You have to add rice to the soup but the key is the egg and lemon sauce.

The sauce, along with the starch of the rice, thickens the soup creating a delicious combination of flavours. Even though the soup itself looks bland, the flavour sensations will knock you for six. Yvonne Kaponis, chef and author, features the dish avgolemono in her cookbook The Greek Bible because of it’s familial feel and strong connection to Greek cuisine.

“I came from a house of 23 people,’ Kaponis told Neos Kosmos, “so whenever you were feeling sick, cold, or had an upset tummy, out would come the avgolemono soup.” This tradition still goes on today with Kaponis stating whenever her daughters start feeling sick they ask for the soup. “I still get phone calls when they aren’t well and I have to make them a pot and take it down to them.”

Her recipe has been passed down from her mother, and from her mother before her, and now she has passed it on to her daughters too. “I am not sure if it’s the flavour of the chicken, the rice, the lemon juice. The dish is not too heavy and it’s nourishing. It just makes you feel much better, all warm and fuzzy inside.” So when you feel the sniffles, get a tummy ache, or your bones are aching, get a chicken on the boil to start the broth of your chicken soup.