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04.05.2016

3 ratings, avg : 5.00
4-6
6.5lt

A delicious vegetarian version of Magiritsa, the traditional soup enjoyed at midnight on Holy Saturday. Mushrooms cooked in a lettuce, spring onion and dill broth, and thickened with an egg-lemon sauce. And what better than to make it in the slow cooker?

I really wanted to make Magiritsa (pronounced mah-yee-REET-sah) in the slow cooker this year. I started off thinking I would make it like the soup we always had at Easter when I was growing up. Which is a tame version of the real thing. Let me explain.

The main Easter meal (on Easter Sunday) was traditionally an occasion to slaughter a lamb or kid (baby goat guys, baby goat), and this soup used the leftover parts so that nothing went to waste. That means offal (lungs, liver, intestines etc). It is still prepared this way today, and the main part of the animal is roasted on a spit over hot coals on the Sunday. The soup however is prepared on Holy Saturday and eaten upon return from midnight church service. It is a good way to prepare the stomach for the heavy meat-eating of the Easter meal, after 40 days of fasting for Lent. Traditionally, the soup is put on low heat to cook before leaving for church. (Aha, low heat, leaving it to cook while going out… you know where this is going)

Our family’s tame version of magiritsa had all the delicious green stuff, and only a little bit of liver (no intestines, no lungs etc). I hate liver, I always have. This was the only time Mrs. D. ever made me eat it (“it’s good for you”). And I was allowed to pick out some of the larger pieces. I so adored the rest of the soup that I put up with the little unpleasant surprises in some of the spoonfuls.

So, last week I thought I would make this version. Only I was, of course, going to make it in the slow cooker. Low heat, leaving it to cook while going out… Makes sense doesn’t it? Standing in the huge queue at the supermarket meat counter, I realized I was going to have to come back at 8:00am to find lamb’s liver. As I stood there absorbing this fact, I glanced at the other types of liver on display. And then it dawned on me. I am a grown up and I don’t have to eat liver at Easter anymore! I turned on my heel and rushed to the veggie section to find me some yummy mushrooms. Mushroom magiritsa is not an uncommon alternative nowadays, and I was looking forward to trying it. I’m so glad I did! And you know what? It doesn’t have to be Easter to enjoy this soup.

Ingredients

Note: Ingredients are weighed after prep.

30+20+20 gr butter (I used Corfu style Greek butter but regular is fine)

110 gr onion (about 1 medium), finely chopped

350 gr spring onions (about 1 bunch), finely chopped, including the green part

400 gr portobello mushrooms, halved and sliced

250 gr white mushrooms, sliced

300 gr romaine lettuce (about 1 medium), finely sliced

140 gr fresh dill (about 1 bunch), finely chopped (with stalks)

120 ml (1/2 cup) white wine

3 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp thyme, dried

1 + 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 + 1/4 tsp lemon pepper

1 litre boiling water

2 eggs

90 ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed (from about 2 lemons)

Step 1

Heat the 30gr of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, lower heat and let it cook gently for 3 minutes. Add the spring onion, stir well and let cook for 10 minutes till soft and wilted. Transfer contents of the pan to the slow cooker insert.

Step 2

Put the pan back on the heat, add the 20gr butter and turn back up to medium. Add mushrooms and stir well. Let them cook down for 10 minutes till darkened.

Step 3

While the mushrooms are cooking add the lettuce and dill to the slow cooker over the onions.

Step 4

Pour the wine onto the mushrooms and let bubble for 3 minutes. Pour the contents of the pan (with juices) into the slow cooker over the greens.

Step 5

Add the olive oil, thyme, 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp lemon pepper. Pour the hot water over the top and let the soup cook on low for 8 hours.

Step 6

When ready, beat the eggs in a medium sized bowl, add lemon juice and beat some more. Turn the slow cooker off, take the insert out and bring it next to the bowl. Slowly transfer small quantities of hot broth to the egg lemon mixture while beating continuously. I use a 100ml measuring spoon, starting with small quantities and gradually reaching whole spoonfuls. The more hot liquid we transfer to the eggs the better. When the bowl is quite full and the mixture is warm/hot, pour it back into the slow cooker insert with the rest of the soup. Again, you want to be stirring the soup continuously when you do this. Add more salt and pepper if necessary (I added ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp lemon pepper) and the 20gr butter. If you want you can put the insert back in the base and close the lid so the magiritsa stays warm for a little while.

Step 7

Serve with extra lemon if desired, boiled eggs and lots of crusty bread.

Note: If you like you can add a little rice to the soup 45 minutes before cooking time is up (before you make the egg-lemon sauce).

3 ratings, avg : 5.00

So, what do you think? Leave me a comment!

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