Magiritsa is a traditional Greek Easter soup that’s usually prepared on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday) and consumed immediately after the midnight Divine Liturgy to break the 40-day fasting period of Greek Orthodox Lent. This soup, or stew is traditionally made with offal removed from the whole roasted lamb that is commonly served on Easter day, which makes this one of those dishes that you either love or hate. I love the lamb pluck version and you can already find two recipes for traditional magiritsa on this website here and here, but this plant-based version here, with loads of mushrooms instead of meat, is very tasty as well, if I do say so myself, and it’s great for those who are not into offal or meat at all.
For this plant-based magiritsa, it’s nice to get a variation of mushrooms rather than just one kind – I’ve used button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, shimeji, portobello and lion’s mane (the latter, is a bit uncommon but can be replaced by enoki) – so that the soup has got different textures, flavours and colours similar to the meat-based version.
Any combination of mushrooms will do for this recipe, but make sure to always add the dried porcini as they really add another level of rich umami flavour and earthy scent to the soup. In addition to the mushrooms, compared to my other recipes for magiritsa this version also has a slightly larger amount of greens – most importantly being the spinach which was used in my friend’s grandmother’s recipe, but not in my own – to ensure the soup is still as filling, flavourful and nutritious even without the meat.
Mushroom Magiritsa / Μαγειρίτσα με Μανίταρια (Vegan/Plant-Based Greek Easter Soup)
- 1kg mixed mushrooms, chopped
- 25g dried porcini
- 90ml extra-virgin olive oil, or other good quality olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 100g uncooked short-grain rice, washed
- 1.5l water
- 300g romaine lettuce
- 500g fresh spinach
- 10 spring onions
- 30g fresh dill
- 50g fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt + more to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper
- For egg-less ‘avgolemono’:
- 60ml lemon juice
- 1 heaped tablespoon of cornstarch
- Clean and cut mushrooms and finely chop the yellow onion.
- In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the chopped yellow onion and mushrooms including dried porcini (no need to soak them beforehand). Sauté for about 10 until the mushrooms are cooked and golden and start to dry out a little.
- Add the uncooked rice to the pot and sauté for a minute, then add the water and a heaped teaspoon of salt. Cover pot and bring liquid to a simmer then turn heat to medium-low and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- In the meantime, wash and finely chop the lettuce, spinach, fresh dill, fresh parsley and spring onions.
- Once the 20 minutes have passed, add the chopped greens to the pot. Cover pot again and allow to cook for 15 more minutes, or until the greens have softened and wilted according to your preference.
- In a glass, mix the lemon juice with a heaped tablespoon of cornstarch to create a slurry. Add the mixture to the soup whilst stirring and allow to cook and thicken slightly on the stove for a minute.
- Season soup with some more salt and pepper according to taste.