Magiritsa – Greek Easter Soup

Magiritsa (Greek: μαγειρίτσα) is a Greek soup made from lamb offal, associated with the Easter (Pascha) tradition of the Greek Orthodox Church. Accordingly, Greek-Americans and Greek-Canadians sometimes call it “Easter soup”, “Easter Sunday soup”, or “Easter lamb soup”. In some parts of Greece, most notably Thessaly, it is not served as soup but rather as a fricassee, where it contains only offal and a large variety of vegetables, but no onions or rice, as in the soup.

Traditional use of Magiritsa

Magiritsa is eaten to break the fast of the Greek Orthodox Great Lent, the 40 days before Easter. Its role and ingredients result from its association with the roasted lamb traditionally served at the Paschal meal; in its traditional form, magiritsa simply consists of all the offal removed from the lamb before roasting, and subsequently flavoured with seasonings and sauces. Prepared by Greeks on Holy Saturday along with the next day’s lamb, magiritsa is consumed immediately after the Pascha midnight Divine Liturgy. The dish is particularly thick and filling, making it a satisfying meal for breaking the fast.

Magiritsa - Greek Easter Soup
The main Easter meal (on Easter Sunday) has traditionally been an occasion to slaughter a lamb or goat, and this soup was designed to use the leftover parts so that nothing went to waste. This soup is prepared on Holy Saturday and eaten to break the fast after midnight church services. Traditionally, the soup is put on low heat to cook before leaving for church, and eaten on return.
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 900 g lamb or kid offal (liver, heart, lungs, and other organs)
  • intestines from 2 lambs or kids
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5 - 6 spring onions, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 - 3 rounded tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, well washed and finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons short grain rice, well rinsed
For the avgolemono (egg-lemon sauce)
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 eggs (at room temperature), separated
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Wash the organs and set aside to drain. Cut the intestines lengthwise with a scissors and clean well under running water. Rub them with coarse sea salt and the lemon juice, then clean again under running water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the organs. Boil for about 3 minutes then add the intestines and boil for another 5 minutes. Drain and chop into small pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Sauté the onion and spring onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the meat and sauté until browned (a few minutes). Add dill, salt, pepper, and 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a slow boil and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped lettuce to a large pot of boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain. 40 minutes after the soup has been slow boiling, stir in the lettuce.
  4. 10 minutes before the end of cooking time, stir in the rice.
  5. At the end of cooking time, remove the soup from the heat.
  6. Make the avgolemono (egg-lemon sauce): Beat the egg whites until frothy. Continue beating and add the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of water, the lemon juice and several large spoonfuls of the soup broth. The key is to beat continuously. Add mixture to the soup, stir, and cover the pot with a towel. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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