My Mum's 'mageiritsa' or Greek Lamb Soup

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Total Time
3hrs 20mins
Prep
20 mins
Cook
3 hrs

At Easter time, Greeks traditionally eat a soup made of lamb intestines, liver and other offal called 'Mageiritsa'. In my house ,there was no way any of us were going to eat something like that, so my mum came up with a simple lamb soup which we loved and waited all year to eat. When I got married, I rang my mum for the recipe and when she gave it to me I couldn't believe how simple it was. The secret is in the long simmering time. My kids and my husband love it and to me it is true comfort food. Thanks mum!

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Ingredients

Nutrition
  • 1 12 kg lamb (fatty neck pieces are ideal)
  • 1 bunch spring onion
  • 12 cup rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon, juice of, large
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Wash lamb pieces well and throw them in a tall pot covering them with cold water.
  2. Bring to the boil, skimming the pot frequently and then turn the heat down and simmer for 2 hours.
  3. Add the spring onion which has been washed and chopped coarsely (around 2cm pieces.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Simmer for another 20 minutes, then add the rice which has been rinsed and boil for another 15 minutes until the rice is cooked.
  5. Allow the soup to cool slightly and make an avgolemono or egg-lemon sauce.
  6. Separate the eggs and beat the whites for 5 minutes on low speed with a hand-held mixer until white. (It must not be firm or meringue-like.).
  7. Add yolks and beat briefly, then add the lemon juice in a thin stream until the mixture is fluffy.
  8. Then add hot soup in a thin trickle beating all the while at a low speed until most of the broth has been incorporated. You will need a large bowl to do this and you should tilt it at the beginning when you beat the egg whites so they are covered by the beaters.
  9. Be careful not to go too quickly or the egg will cook and curdle, it must be warmed up gradually.
  10. Tip the contents of the bowl back into the pot and mix lightly with a ladle.
  11. NOTE: The lamb here in Greece is very fatty so I don't add any oil at all to the soup but if you use leaner types of lamb (e.g. Australian or New Zealand) you may like to add 1/3 cup of oil to the soup.