Greek Easter Soup

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


This soup was probably invented as a way to use up the offal—heart, liver, lungs, and intestines—removed from the lamb or kid to be roasted for the Easter Sunday feast. We've adapted the classic recipe to use lamb shanks and shoulder, omitting the innards.


  • 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 12 lb. lamb shanks, trimmed of fat
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and halved
  • 2 bunches scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 12 lb. boneless lamb shoulder, minced
  • 12 cup long-grain rice
  • 3 bunches fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 8 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 4 eggs
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Heat 2 tbsp. of the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add lamb shanks and cook, turning to brown on all sides, for about 12 minutes. Add onions, carrots, and enough water to cover (about 16 cups). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, skimming occasionally, for 2½ hours. Strain stock, discarding vegetables but reserving shanks. Pull meat from bones, cut into small pieces, then return to pot with stock.

Step 2

Heat remaining 2 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions and cook until they are wilted, 3–5 minutes. Add the lamb shoulder and brown, stirring frequently, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to stock pot. Add rice, dill, and lettuce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, and simmer until rice is soft, 30–45 minutes.

Step 3

Just before serving, make the egg–lemon sauce by beating eggs with lemon juice in a medium bowl until frothy. Temper eggs by whisking in 2 cups hot broth, a little at a time, then stir the sauce into the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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