Mageritsa (Easter Lamb Soup)

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Mageritsa (Easter Lamb Soup)

Servings: 8

  • Intestines, heart, lungs,
  • and liver of 1 lamb.
  • 1 lamb's feet and tripe, opt
  • 1    Lamb's head (optional)
  • Salt
  • 2    Lemons (juice only)
  • 1 sm Bunch scallions; chopped
  • 2/3 c  Chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 c  Chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 c  Chopped celery leaves
  • 6 tb Raw long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 ts Aniseed (optional)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3    Whole eggs

Note: If using the lamb’s head, wash it, then soak it in cold water for 3
hours. Drain. Cut the head in half, using a sharp knife, and tie with a
clean string.

If using the lamb’s feet and tripe, prepare as follows: If tripe is not
parially cooked, cut open with a sharp knife and clean the inside
thoroughly under running water. Put in a pan with cold salted water to
cover and soak for 30 minutes, then drain and wash with cold water. Cut
into small pieces and put in a large soup pot with the lamb’s feet. cover
with cold water, and simmer until tender, adding salt to taste during the
last minutes of cooking. Cube the tripe, remove the meat of the feet from
the bones, and add to the mageritsa at the same time as the cut-up
intestines, adjusting the liquid by adding more water.

Clean the intestines thoroughly by turning them inside out, using a long
skewer or stick (this turning will be quicker if the intestines are first
cut into 2-foot lengths), then wash under cold running water until clean.
Rub the intestines with salt and the juice of 1/2 lemon, rinse again in
cold water and drain. Braid the intestines or tie the ends together with
clean string. Put in a large soup pot with the lamb’s head, if using, and
cove with cold water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, skim, and
simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the intestines, drain them, and cut into 1/4
inch pieces with the scissors and set aside to add to the soup later. (Use
the remaining portion of the head for another dish.)

Bring the soup stock to a boil and add the scallions, parsley, dill, and
celery leaves. Cut the heart, lungs, and liver into small bite-sized
cubes, and add them to the soup, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the rice,
cut-up intestines, aniseed, salt and pepper to taste and continue
simmering until the rice is tender, approximately 15 minutes, adding more
water as needed and the brains during the last few minutes of cooking.

Half an hour before serving, bring the soup to a boil, then remove from
the heat and prepare the avgolemono: Beat the eggs for 2 minutes. Continue
to beat, gradually add the remaining lemon juice. Then 1 to 2 cups of the
hot soup by droplets, beating steadily, until all has been added. Add the
avgolemono to the soup. Stir over minimum heat until thickened. Serve
warm but avoid boiling the soup after adding the avgolemono.

A richer Mageritsa can be made by sauteing the scallions in 3 tablespoons
butter or oil before adding to the soup.

From: ‘The Food of Greece’ by Vilma Liacouras Chantiles. Avenel Books,
New York.

Typed for you by Karen Mintzias


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