Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 10-inch tube pan.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Set mixture aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating until stiff glossy peaks form. Set aside.
Beat butter and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color.
Blend in egg yolks, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add flour mixture alternately with the yogurt, mixing until combined. Gently fold in the egg whites and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling. Serves 12.
If you use Greek-style yogurt, you may thin it with a little milk to make it easier to incorporate into the batter.
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