Sticky lamb shank soup with fresh fenugreek and molten mozzarella

Sticky lamb shank soup with fresh fenugreek and molten mozzarella

By
From
Arabesque
Serves
10
Photographer
William Meppem

This amazingly fragrant soup is really more of a meal. Fresh fenugreek can be hard to find – try an Asian or Middle Eastern grocer.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50ml olive oil
6 lamb shanks
salt and pepper
2 medium brown onions, coarsely chopped
3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, scraped and halved lengthways
2 medium leeks, washed and halved lengthways
4 garlic cloves, peeled
100ml sherry
2 litres chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds, rinsed and lightly cracked
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 sticks cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice berries, lightly cracked
1 small butternut pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and cut into 1 cm dice
2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1 cm dice
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm dice
3/4 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 bunch fenugreek leaves, leaves picked
200g mozzarella cheese, sliced

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy-based casserole dish and season lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Brown all over. Remove from pan and drain on kitchen paper.
  2. To the casserole dish add onions, celery, carrot, leeks and garlic and sauté over a low heat for 5 minutes. Return the lamb to the pan, add the sherry and stock and bring to the boil. Skim, then lower the heat.
  3. To make the spice-bag, combine the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and allspice in a small muslin cloth and tie with string. Submerge the bag among the vegetables and shanks. Place the casserole on the middle shelf of a preheated 180°C oven for 1¾ hours, until the lamb is falling from the bones.
  4. Remove the casserole from the oven and strain the mixture through a sieve, pressing on the vegetables to extract maximum flavour. Discard the vegetables and spice-bag, remove the meat from the bones and shred it coarsely.
  5. Cook the pumpkin, turnip and potato in the strained stock until tender, then strain and reserve with the meat. Bring the stock to the boil and reduce it by one-third, skimming constantly.
  6. Return the meat and vegetables to the pan and heat through, then add the coriander leaves and adjust the seasoning. To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls, top with mozzarella slices and sprinkle with fenugreek leaves.
  7. Serve with crusty bread.
Tags:
Middle East
Middle Eastern
Arabic
Arabian
Arabesque
Greg
Lucy
Malouf
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