Tunisian lamb soup with almonds and fenugreek

Tunisian lamb soup with almonds and fenugreek

Mark Roper

Lamb shanks are one of our favourite cuts. Although they need long, slow cooking, they don’t require much in the way of attention once they are simmering away. Here, they make a wonderfully fragrant and filling soup with warm, sweet undertones from the honey and cinnamon. Finish with a swirl of exotic green hilbeh and crunchy golden almonds and serve with wedges of lemon and some warm pitta bread.



Quantity Ingredient
4 lamb shanks
salt and pepper
80ml olive oil
garlic, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 large leek, washed and halved lengthways
a few sprigs fresh thyme
2l Chicken soup with egg, lemon and bird’s nest pasta
50ml olive oil
1 large brown onion, finely diced
garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
10 threads saffron, lightly roasted and crushed
1 tablespoon honey
400g crushed tomatoes
18 pickling onions, peeled
100g cooked chickpeas
or 400g chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons Hilbeh
60g flaked almonds, fried until golden brown


  1. To make the soup, season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pot and brown the shanks, turning them so they colour evenly. Lower the heat, and drain away any burnt fat. Add the garlic, cinnamon, bay leaf, leek and thyme. Pour on the stock or water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer very gently for 2 hours, uncovered. Skim off any fat and scum that forms on the surface from time to time. You may need to top up with extra stock too.
  2. In a medium-sized pot, heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic over a low heat until they soften. Add the spices and cook for a further 5 minutes. Then add the honey, tomatoes, onions and chickpeas and strain in the liquid from the pot of lamb shanks. Simmer gently for 20–30 minutes.
  3. Remove the meat from the shanks, discarding any fat and sinew. Roughly shred the meat and add to the soup. Return to a gentle boil and taste, adjusting the seasoning if necessary.
  4. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, swirl in a teaspoon of hilbeh and sprinkle with almonds.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again