Traditionally, no food should be eaten at Easter Saturday, but after the midnight mass, in the first hour of Easter Sunday, people ate (and eat) mageiritsa. This soup is made of lamb offal, taken from the lamb the family will grill later on Easter Sunday. This thick, nourishing soup is pure heaven after the 40 days of Lent.
Now, I’m fairly omnivorous, but offal… Life is just to short to eat offal. Then I read that the soup could be made of minced lamb, and, well, of course it can. It is delicious, springtime fresh and hearty!
- 400 gr minced / ground meat, usually lamb
- 50 ml olive oil
- 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 1-2 carrots, sliced
- 2 -3 tablespoons short grain rice
- 1 litre broth of lamb, chicken or vegetables (stock cube works well)
- 200 g romaine lettuce, shredded
- 1 egg
- juice of 1 lemon
- 100 ml dill or parsley, or a mixture, chopped
- salt and pepper
Fry ground beef in olive oil while you break it into small pieces. When the meat starts to brown, add the onion and leek and let it fry a few minutes. Add the carrots and rice. Pour over the broth and let it boil for about 25 minutes, add the salad for the last five minutes. Check that the rice is tender, if not cook further until it is.
Whisk the egg and lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk in a ladle of the soup. Remove the pot from the heat and pour in the egg mixture while stirring. Add the dill / parsley. Heat gently until the soup barely reaches the boiling point but no more. Season with salt and pepper. Eat with slices of crusty bread.
Kalo Pascha / Καλο Πασχα / Happy Easter!
This is the Greek national dish. A warm and healthy bean soup that doesn’t cost a lot to make, but tastes delicious served with a slice of chunky country bread.
- 150 grams butter beans (Gigantes)
- 1 can tomatoes
- 1 onion, chopped
- a handful fresh celery leaves*, chopped
- 2 small carrots, coarsely chopped
- 6 tbsp olive oil (or more if you want)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt, pepper
Soak the beans in water overnight. Rinse them, and boil for ten minutes in water. Discard the boiling water, and add about a litre of water. Add the rest of the ingredients except salt and pepper, and boil under a lid for about two hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
*Celery leaves: You can use the leaves of both celery and celeriac, or even finely chopped celeriac.
Lentils and beans are widely used in Greece. Lentil soup can be made in a number of ways, we have chosen brown lentils in this variety, but it’s entirely up to you. The soup is served hot or warm with fresh, crusty bread.
- 0,2 l brown lentils + water
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 carrot
- 1 / 2 small leek
- 1 tomato
- 3 finely chopped, sundried tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 0,5 l water
- 1 stock cube
- dried celery leaves or oregano
- salt, pepper
Boil lentils in water for five minutes, discard the water. Cut the vegetables in small pieces and sauté them lightly in oil. Add the tomato puree, water and spices as well as the pre-cooked lentils. Gently boil under lid for about half an hour, taste if the lentils are tender or need to cook some more. The soup should be thick, almost like a stew.
Adding a can of tomatoes instead of tomato puree, sun dried tomatoes and fresh tomatoes, makes a simpler version of the soup,. If so, reduce the amount of water. Also, the result will be just fine without the leek.