Lamb Shank Soup - a hearty, healthy and cozy winter soup! Bring the flavours of Morocco to your own home with this super simple, yet exquisite lamb soup.
Why We Love this Recipe
What more could you want on a cold, dreary night? A simple, hearty and warming lamb shank soup that is absolutely bursting with flavour is all you need!
This soup is my new go-to cold weather soup! It's everything you look for in a soup. Hearty, thanks to the beans and the lamb shanks, healthy, easy and super cozy.
This soup requires a few simple ingredients that are easily found in supermarkets or special grocery stores. There are also some substitutes you can make if you don't have all the ingredients.
First up you'll need;
- Lamb Shanks - Lamb shanks are the cut of meat positioned toward the lower leg of the animal. They can get quite tough which is why it's important to cook them well. For this lamb shank soup you'll need two lamb shanks. I found bone out lamb shanks at my supermarket and they worked really well. You can also use bone in shanks. If you really can't find lamb shanks, lamb stew meat would work perfectly as well and is amazing slow cooked.
- Mirepoix - A mirepoix is a fancy way of saying carrots, onion and celery. A mirepoix makes the basis of a lot of recipes I cook and I always make sure I've got those ingredients on hand at home.
- Garlic and Fennel- Garlic is a given for most meals I make, but fennel is a game changer in this dish. Fennel adds a aniseed taste to the dish and really elevates it into something more than just a lamb soup.
- Harissa Paste- This is a hidden gem in this recipe, and gives the lamb shank soup a hint of spice. Harissa is a North African spice that comes in a paste or powder form. I found this in my local Woolworths supermarket.
- Liquids- For this lamb shank soup I use chicken stock and tomatoes. I find the chicken stocks provides a more subtle flavour than beef and doesn't over power the lamb. You'll also need a 400g/14.5oz can of tomatoes.
- Barley - I love using barley in this recipe because it adds a bit of oomph to the soup and makes you feel like you've had a meal. There's nothing sadder than a soup that doesn't fill you up!
- Garnish - to top this recipe off you'll need fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, greek yogurt and pomegranate. These garnishes look absolutely gorgeous and add an additional tang and brightness to the flavour of the soup. The greek yogurt cools down the spiciness of the soup and adds a creamy element to the dish.
Step by Step Instructions
This is one of those, leave and simmer recipes, which is why I love this recipe . There is nothing worse than having to hang around the stove while you cook!
- Step 1 - brown your lamb shanks in evoo. You'll need a large Dutch Oven for this recipe, or a large heavy based saucepan.
- Step 2 - Remove lamb then add the mirepoix and cook until soft. Add in garlic and fennel. The add in harissa paste.
- Step 3 - add your liquids, bring to a simmer then add barley and lemon zest.
- Step 4 - return the lamb shanks to the pot and simmer for 1 hr and 30 minutes to 2 hours until the soup is nice and thick.
- Step 5 - stir through the lemon juice then serve with greek yogurt, additional lemon zest, pomegranate and parsley or mint.
Tips and Tricks and FAQs
How to Store This Soup?
In the event that there are leftovers, you can store this soup in an air tight container in the fridge for a day.
It is likely that the fat will solidify in the fridge so make sure you reheat it either on the stove top or in the microwave until the fat has melted and the soup is nice and hot.
I haven't tried freezing this soup, but can't imagine there would be an issue with it. Just make sure that you don't freeze this soup if you've already used frozen lamb shanks.
Is this soup healthy?
I personally say it is. It is a well balanced soup with vegetables, wholegrain and lamb. Lamb in general has good sources of zinc, iron and vitamin B. I love eating this for a healthy, hearty winter meal and really feel good after eating it as it's not too heavy.
How many people does this recipe serve?
It serves around 4 people. I usually have this with Adam and we have enough leftovers for lunch the next day.
What wine can I serve lamb with?
The best wine to pair with lamb is red wine. Specifically something a little more robust like a Shiraz or a Cab Sav. A nice Bordeaux also goes beautifully with lamb shanks.
This truly is a hearty, warming and cozy soup with a spectacular flavour profile to it. It is a perfect balance between rich, warming flavours, and bright and light flavours.
It's great for a dinner party, a date night in, or if you're just looking for a super cozy, but elegant and slightly fancy soup!
I really hope you try this recipe soon, and if you do, remember to leave a comment and star rating. I love to see your creations and get your feedback! You can also follow along and tag me on instagram @thehomecookskitchen.
Happy soup season everyone!
Want more lamb recipes?
- Lamb Ragu with Pappardelle
- Lamb Shepherd's Pie
- Roast Rack of Lamb via Well Seasoned Studio
- BBQ Easy Carve Lamb Leg via Not Another Food Blogger
- Slow Cooker Lamb Curry via Platings and Pairings
Lamb Shank Soup
- 1 5.5 quart/5L Dutch Oven or heavy based saucepan
- Cutting board
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lamb shanks bone in or out
- 1 brown/yellow onion finely diced
- 1 medium sized carrot finely diced
- 2 celery sticks finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and mashed/finely diced
- 1 bulb of fennel sliced
- 400 g tin tomatoes 14.5 oz can
- 4 cups chicken stock use good quality
- ½ cup pearl barley
- 2 teaspoon harissa paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice about juice of half a lemon
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest zest of a lemon
- greek yogurt, mint or parsley, pomegranate for serving
- Heat 2 tbs evoo in a dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add lamb and sear each side for 1-2 minutes until browned. Remove from pan.
- Add onion, carrot and celery and cook for 3-5 mins until soft. Add a dash more olive oil if it's sticking.
- Add garlic, and fennel and cook a further 3 minutes.
- Stir through harissa paste.
- Add tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer.
- Once simmering, add in the pearl barley, and lemon zest.
- Return the lamb shank meat back to the dutch oven.
- Simmer for 1 hour - 1 30 minutes, or until soup is thick. Lamb should be falling off the bone, or easily shredded with a fork.
- To serve, stir through the lemon juice.
- Spoon into bowl, then top with greek yogurt (optional), mint or parsley, extra lemon zest and pomegranate.
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Can this soup be made in a crockpot?
Hi Sue - I haven't tried so I'm not too sure I can't imagine it would be different though.
Jenni Chisholm says
This soup had a really nice flavour. I found I needed more stock though as it ended up super thick. I didn’t use the Greek yoghurt or pomegranate and it was still perfect. My kids loved it. Will definitely be making again.
thanks for the lovely feedback Jenni - glad you and the family loved it 🙂
Aline Shaw says
So excited!! I just ordered all the ingredients to make this recipe - hopefully I'll get them tomorrow in time to make it for dinner!!
let me know how it goes! it's sooooo good 🙂
It looks so delicious and flavourful. I love your pictures too!
thanks Melanie, it's such a beautiful recipe!
Marie-Charlotte Chatelain says
I love lamb in soups! And with the harissa, fennel and pomegranate seeds this sounds like a Middle Eastern feast I want to be part of!
it's got beautiful middle eastern flavours, its not too spicy either! sooo good.
This was absolutely divine. It was so elegant but easy!
thanks Tracy, it's so yum isn't it!
The addition of harissa in this dish makes it something special. This is a hearty comforting soup full of flavor.
harissa is one of my favourite spices, not too spicy!
I love the idea of taking big, humble cuts of meat and turning them into fabulous soups! I can't wait to try this with lamb, one of my favorite meats! I might have to add extra barley, though. Yum!
it's fall off the bone good!
Alice | SkinnySpatula says
Looks like a very comforting bowl! I love it.
it's absolutely delightful!