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Soups & Stews

Traditional Easter Soup / Mageiritsa


This soup is only made once a year and is traditionally eaten after the Midnight Mass of the Greek Orthodox Easter.


1 lambís head juice of 3 lemons
1 lambís heart 3 bunches spring onions, chopped
1 lambís lung 1/2 cup fresh dill weed, chopped
1 lambís liver 2 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
8oz. Lambís intestines 1 cup celery leaves, chopped
1 tbs. Salt 3 tbs. Butter
1/2 tsp. Pepper 1/2 cup long grain rice
Egg-Lemon Sauce /  Avgolemono:  
5 eggs, separated Juice of 2 lemons

Preparing the lamb:
The mouth, nose and ears of the lambís head have to be cleaned. Get your butcher to do this for you and to split the cranium in half. Wash the head, brain, heart, lung and liver thoroughly in cold water. Run clean water from the tap through the intestines and make sure that they are cleaned completely, then using a stick, turn them inside out and clean again. Soak the cleaned head and all the organs in water with the lemon juice mixed in for at least 1 hour, then drain.

Making the Soup:
Place all the lamb parts into a large pot and cover with cold water. Add salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Remove any foam that collects on top and let it boil over medium heat about 40 minutes or until the meat is tender.

Remove all the lamb parts from the pot and set aside so they can cool down a bit for you to handle them. Strain the broth and return it to the pot, setting aside 2 cups of broth for the Egg-Lemon sauce.

With a heavy knife, finely chop the intestines and brains and return them to the broth. Chop the heart, liver and lung finely, discarding any cartilage or thick membranes and return them to the broth as well. Pick over the head and return any meat to the broth. If it's your preference the eyes can also be included.

Add the onions, dill, parsley and celery with the butter into the soup pot and bring it all to a boil, cooking over medium heat for about 1 hour. Add the rice and boil gently until it is done, about 15 minutes more and then remove the pot from the heat.

Egg-Lemon Sauce/Avgolemono:
Beat the egg whites with a mixer until peaks form but not stiff. Beat in the yolks one at a time and slowly drizzle in the lemon juice. Gradually add in the reserved stock. Pour the entire mixture into the soup pot, stirring constantly so the egg doesnít separate on you. Serve immediately.

Susieís Note:  I have to tell you, that at first I couldnít bear the idea of eating this soup. Growing up on Americaís East Coast, we didnít have many dishes with Lamb innards. When I finally got up my courage to try this, I was impressed. It really is delicious soup. So be adventurous, you may be pleasantly surprised too.  


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