Easter Lamb soup
This soup is eaten after midnight on Easter Saturday, and contains the first meat to be eaten after the Lenten fasting. It is prepared using the offal and other parts of the lamb which are removed during the preparation for its roasting on the spit on Easter Sunday The Greeks traditionally use the liver, heart, tripe, intestines, feet and indeed any soft internal parts of the lamb. Given that many people may not relish the thought of handling some of these, I have adapted the recipe to make its preparation slightly less of an experience!
2 lb. ( 1 kg) lamb on the bone – this could be from any part, perhaps neck or breast
Bunch of spring onions, chopped into fine rings, both whites and greens parts
Good handful of chopped celery stalks and leaves
2 rounded tbs. finely chopped fresh dill, 1 lb. (500 g) lambs’ liver
1 lamb’s heart (optional), 7 oz (200 g) lambs’ kidneys
5 oz (150 g) long grain rice, 2 beaten eggs, juice of 2 lemons
Good handful of chopped parsley, salt and pepper
Trim off all excess fat from the lamb and put it in a saucepan with just under 5 pints (95 fl oz / 2 1/2., litres) water. Bring to the boil, then simmer over low heat, skimming frequently until the meat is falling off the bones.
Remove the meat and discard the bones, allow the broth to cool and then refrigerate it for one hour, after which you will be able to remove the fat from the surface. Meanwhile, chop the lean meat into tiny dice. After you have removed the fat, put the broth in a large saucepan and add the scallions, celery and dill, the liver, heart (optional) and kidneys and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the liver; heart and kidneys and chop them into small dice. Return them to the broth, add the meat and the rice, and simmer over a moderate heat until the rice is tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool a little. Beat the eggs and stir in the lemon juice, add a soup ladle of the broth and whisk well together in a separate bowl. Add to the rest of the broth and stir vigorously over an extremely low heat – if it is too high the egg will curdle! Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if required.
Finally allow the soup to stand away from the heat for a few minutes and then serve, sprinkled with more finely chopped parsley Serves 4-6