I absolutely love the change of seasons and by the end of summer I have a serious hankering for hearty soups and stews.  This was one hearty soup I can tell you, and so will the six humungous manboys I fed it to.  Molten lamb, protein packed chickpeas and sweet carrots immersed in a rich, spiced broth.  Out of 10 on the flavour scale, I’ll give it 12.


You could do this in the slow cooker.  Brown the shanks first (for flavour) and place on low for 8 hours.


Prep time:  30 Minutes               Cooking time:  3-4 Hours              $ Low Budget


Serves 8-10  (perfect for a crowd otherwise halve the recipe)


4 lamb shanks, trimmed of any excess fat

2 brown onions, diced

4 garlic cloves, finely minced

2cm piece of ginger, grated

3 wedges of preserved lemon, flesh removed and discarded and skin finely diced

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbs of honey

1-2 tsp of chilli flakes (depending how hot you like it)

2 tbs of Ras El Hanout  (see link at bottom of page for Em’s own recipe)

4 large carrots, peeled and sliced

2 x 400gm tins of crushed tomatoes

1 litre of chicken stock

1 litre of water

2 x 400gm tins of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

100gm of baby spinach

1 cup of coriander leaves, roughly chopped

1 cup of parsley leaves, roughly chopped

Greek yoghurt, coriander sprigs and toasted turkish bread to serve


Heat a large casserole or soup pot and add a little oil to the bottom.  Fry the shanks on all sides, as best you can, until golden.  Remove and set aside.


In the same pot, add a little more oil and lightly fry the onion until soft before adding the ginger, garlic, chilli flakes and preserved lemon.  Fry for 1-2 minutes until aromatic and then add the spice mix.  Be careful not to burn them but allow them to cook for a minute, stirring continuously.  Pour in the stock, water and tomatoes, stir to combine and place the shanks back in the pot.  Bring to a simmer, turn the heat down and place a lid on.  Simmer, stirring occasionally for approximately 2.5-3 hours or until the lamb is starting to fall off the bone.


Once the meat is falling off the bone, remove the shanks and place them in a tray.  Pop the carrots and chickpeas in the soup and continue to simmer.  Using tongs, shred the meat from the shank bones and discard the bones (once you’ve had a little gnaw).  Chop the meat, keeping it a little chunky as it will continue to break up in the soup.  Season the soup with salt and pepper and add the lemon juice and honey.  Stir and have a taste, adjust any seasoning if necessary.


While you are toasting your bread etc and just before serving place the spinach, coriander and parsley to the soup and stir until just wilted.  Ladle a generous helping into serving bowls and top with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprig of coriander.  Season with pepper and serve.


Ras El Hanout