Greek (and Cypriot) Easter Soup - From Patricia's Homepage

· Serves 4-6·

This soup is traditional and ritualistic: while a freshly slaughtered spring lamb is roasted for the main course of the Easter feast, this soup, which starts the meal, is supposed to be made out of the remaining parts--the lungs, liver, heart, and intestines cook in a broth made from the lamb's head. Well, this recipe just isn't that pure. On the other hand, it really is lovely--like a savory rice pudding with little bits of lamb and parsley and a lemony tang. Just ignore the fact that you're using cornstarch to approximate the thickening you would have gotten from the entrails. This is a soup that is all about the joy of redemption, the richness of Christian living in Mediterranean communities, and just plain good eating. Serve hot to 4-6 people. It's also wonderful reheated--so long as you reheat carefully and don't curdle it.


· 1 and 1/2 pounds of lamb on the bone

· 8 cups water

· 1 onion, finely chopped

· 3 stalks celery, with leaves, finely chopped

· 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

· 1/2 cup rice

· 3 egg yolks, beaten

· 1 Tablespoon cornstarch

· 1 cup milk

· juice of 1/2 lemon

· salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the lamb off the bone and chop it coarsely. Put the meat, the bones, the onion, and the celery into a large saucepan and cover with the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Skim any froth and discard. Cover the pot and cook for about an hour.

2. Stir in the rice and the parsley, cover, and cook for about 25 more minutes, til the rice is very tender. Remove bones and discard.

3. When ready to serve, whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch, and milk together until smooth, then whisk it slowly into the soup.

4. Let the soup cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste, then ladle into bowls and serve immediately.

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