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Magiritsa, Photo Lemur12

Magiritsa or Mageiritsa (Greek : Μαγειρίτσα) is a traditional Greek soup made from lamb's innards, associated with the Easter tradition of the Greek Orthodox Church. Accordingly, it is sometimes called "Easter soup," "Easter Sunday soup," or "Easter Lamb soup."

Traditional Use

Mageritsa is eaten to break the 40-day fast undertaken by Greek Orthodox followers during Lent. Its role and ingredients result from its association with the roasted lamb traditionally served at Easter dinner; in its traditional form, magaritsa simply consists of all the offal removed from the lamb for roasting, subsequntly flavored with the seasonings and sauces discussed below. Prepared by Greek housewives on Holy Saturday in tandem with the next day's lamb, magaritsa is consumed immediately upon the conclusion of the Easter midnight mass. The dish is particularly thick and filling, making it a satisfying meal by which the fast may be broken.

Ingredients and Preparation

While traditional magiritsa includes all the lamb offal available, it is the head and neck of the lamb which provide most of the soup's flavor, and those along with the intestines and liver which are most commonly selected for use today.

After a thorough cleaning, the lamb materials are boiled whole in water for between thirty minutes and two hours, then cut up into smaller pieces, flavored with onions, anise, butter and sometimes vegetables, and boiled further at a lower temperature than before. Rice is added towards the end of the boiling process, and the stock is served in avgolemano sauce, which consists of eggs and lemon juice.

When consumed on Easter morning, magaritsa is generally accompanied by salad and cheese, traditional Greek tsoureki bread, and eggs dyed red as a symbol of the risen Christ's blood.

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