My Mum's 'mageiritsa' or Greek Lamb Soup

READY IN: 3hrs 20mins


  • 1 12
    kg lamb (fatty neck pieces are ideal)
  • 1
  • 12
    cup rice
  • 1
    lemon, juice of, large
  • salt and pepper


  • Wash lamb pieces well and throw them in a tall pot covering them with cold water.
  • Bring to the boil, skimming the pot frequently and then turn the heat down and simmer for 2 hours.
  • Add the spring onion which has been washed and chopped coarsely (around 2cm pieces.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer for another 20 minutes, then add the rice which has been rinsed and boil for another 15 minutes until the rice is cooked.
  • Allow the soup to cool slightly and make an avgolemono or egg-lemon sauce.
  • 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.).
  • Add yolks and beat briefly, then add the lemon juice in a thin stream until the mixture is fluffy.
  • 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.
  • Be careful not to go too quickly or the egg will cook and curdle, it must be warmed up gradually.
  • Tip the contents of the bowl back into the pot and mix lightly with a ladle.
  • 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.