This traditional Greek Easter Soup is hearty, healthy and wallet-friendly
A Greek household favourite in time for Orthodox Easter
With Orthodox Easter approaching, we looked to My Big Fat Greek Cookbook for ideas on working with lamb and were delighted with this easy-to-follow recipe for a tried, tested and true Mediterranean soup that might just become a household holiday staple in your home.
Greek Easter Soup | magiritsa
Intro by Christos Sourligas | Recipe by Evdokia Antginas
Also known as Easter Sunday Soup or Easter Lamb Soup, magiritsa contains the entrails and internal organs of the “sacrificial lamb,” as well as greens and flavored seasonings. It’s the perfect meal to break the Greek Orthodox fast (Lent). Dense and filling, the soup is traditionally prepared on Holy Saturday evening and eaten right after Easter midnight church service.
Yes, I know, the insides of an animal sound kinda gross. But if you choose to be a carnivore, you must also respect the whole animal in its entirety, and not just the bits you like. Remember, the lamb has been given up for you, so the least you can do is try this recipe. Besides, it would be a total shame to waste these precious parts. (Yes, I am parroting my father word-for-word right now.) Christos Anesti! (Christ is Risen!) is the customary salutation when you greet someone after Easter midnight mass.
For the meat:
- 454 g (16 oz) lamb offal (internal organs and entrails)
- Vegetable oil
- 1 small white onion
- ¾ tbsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 10 scallion shoots
- 5 leaves of andithia (curly endives)
- 5 leaves of romaine lettuce
- ¾ cup Italian-style rice
For the egg-lemon sauce:
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Chopped dill
Clean and wash the offal thoroughly. Set aside.
Bring water in a large stockpot to a hard boil. Add the offal and blanch for 5 minutes; this will “clean” the organs. Drain the meat and cut up the offal into 1-inch cubes. Disregard excess fat and any undesirable bits.
Mince the white onion. Cut the scallions into ⅓-inch bits, the endives and romaine into 1-inch pieces.
Sauté the minced white onion with a splash of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Combine the organ cubes and sauté for a few more minutes. Pour in enough water to cover the meat, and partially cover the pan. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Feed the pan with boiling water from a kettle, if required. Add in the salt, pepper and olive oil. Stir and cook for 15 minutes. Then combine the scallions, endives, romaine and rice. Fully stir in the greens and cook the soup for another 15 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a blender for 1-2 minutes, then trickle in the lemon juice. Slowly pour 3 ladle spoonfuls of the soup into the bowl, continuing to blend until the mixture fluffs up. Add the mixture into the pot, and with a ladle, carefully intermix the egg-lemon sauce with the soup. Partially cover the pot and leave aside for 10 minutes.
Top with chopped dill, and salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: Makes 6 servings