Winter lamb shank and vegetable soup

This winter lamb shank and vegetable soup takes some time to make but it is oh so worth it. With just a little patience you'll be rewarded with a hearty, meat-filled bowl of thick soup, perfect for a winter evening.

  • 2 hrs 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Winter lamb shank and vegetable soup


  • 1 1/2 cup (300g) dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.5 kilogram (3 pounds) french-trimmed lamb shanks
  • 1 brown onion (150g), chopped finely
  • 2 carrots (240g), chopped finely
  • 2 stalks celery (300g), trimmed, sliced thinly
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cup (500ml) chicken stock
  • 1 litre (4 cups) water
  • 8 stalks silver beet (swiss chard) (400g), trimmed, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice


  • 1
    Place chickpeas in a medium bowl, cover with water, stand overnight; drain. Rinse under cold water; drain.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; cook lamb, in batches, until browned. Remove from pan.
  • 3
    Cook onion, carrot, celery, garlic and cumin in same pan, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Return lamb to pan with stock and the water; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 2 hours.
  • 4
    Remove pan from heat; when lamb is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones. Discard bones; chop meat coarsely. Refrigerate cooled soup mixture and lamb meat, covered separately, overnight.
  • 5
    Discard fat from surface of soup mixture. Place soup mixture, meat and chickpeas in a large saucepan; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
  • 6
    Add silver beet and juice to soup; simmer, uncovered, until silver beet just wilts. Divide soup into serving bowls; accompany with a warmed loaf of ciabatta, if you like.


Recipe is suitable to freeze before adding silver beet. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat in a saucepan and start from step 6. You need to start this recipe the day before serving.

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