Soup of lamb shanks and turnip greens

It happens to be cold and wet outside and you want something to warm you up and make you feel good.

That’s easy! Grab some lamb shanks and some turnip greens and get them going on the stove.

Did you ever eat the bone marrow of a lamb shank? You can pull it out with a knife and eat it as is or on a piece of bread. Try it and let me know! (just wait until it is thoroughly cooked!)


  • 4 lamb shanks
  • Turnip greens (with the turnips attached or not)
  • 2 lemons
  • a bunch of cilantro (2 ounces)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, mashed with a teaspoon of salt
  • olive oil, as needed
  • one or two large sweet potatoes or a bag of carrots (1 pound)
  • 1 large onion


  1. Rub the lamb shanks with a cut lemon; sprinkle with salt, pepper and the spices of your choice (I used cinnamon, allspice and paprika)
  2. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in the pot and brown the lamb shanks all around. Add the onion and cover the lamb shanks with water and a bay leaf and a couple of cloves of garlic. Cook on a slow simmer till the meat falls off the bone. Remove cartilage and fat from the pot.
  3. Bring back to a simmer and add the turnip greens, previously washed and cut in large chunks. Simmer for one hour or longer, adding to the pot some turnips and (or) carrots (or) sweet potatoes cut in chunks.
  4. At the end of cooking, swirl 1/4 cup of  previously prepared cilantro pesto in the soup. Serve with lemon quarters.

To make the cilantro pesto:

  • 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves cut and chopped
  • 8 to 12 cloves of garlic, mashed with some salt in a mortar
  • olive oil

Heat some olive oil in a small skillet; add the mashed garlic and chopped cilantro; stir the mixture with a wooden spoon for a few seconds until fragrant; do not let it color. Turn off the heat and reserve.

TIP: Can freeze the unused portion for a few months, covered in a thin layer of olive oil.

This is the same soup, served over basmati rice flavored with turmeric and cumin.

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  1. Posted November 30, 2010 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    Hello, a foodblogger friend has passed on to me this award One Lovely Blog Award and I would like to share it with you. Check it out on .Thank you.

  2. Posted November 30, 2010 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    Those are wonderful veggies and your soup looks so flavorful as well as comforting!



    Posted November 30, 2010 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    This meal looks so delicious, for me the smell of carrots symbolizes the beginning of the winter, I like how the turnip greens wilts and becomes part of the soup and the lamb shank bones ( the flavor missals) , it’s like a flavor rubbery on this bone marrow, there are a lot of fresh flavor that come together.This is a vitamin packed soup, and is loaded with antioxidant vegetables. Turnip greens are high volume foods they fill you up without costing you a lot of calories.

  4. Posted November 30, 2010 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    This soup is perfect for the cold weather now!

  5. Posted November 30, 2010 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    This looks so good. Can’t find turnip greens here so may have to substitue collard greens. Marrow on bread? Delicious.

  6. Posted November 30, 2010 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    Wow wat a complete meal, would love to enjoy immediately…

  7. Posted November 30, 2010 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    Have I ever had lamb shank marrow!? Of course, its my favorite– bang bang on the table and that slippery little sucker comes right out… yum!!!

  8. Posted November 30, 2010 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    What a soothing and seasonal dish Joumana. I don’t think I’ve ever tried the lamb shank marrow but if I ever make this dish I sure will try it.

  9. Posted November 30, 2010 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Hello from a greek food blogger-lover!
    It’s great that I learned about your nice blog because eastern mediterranean cuisine is one of my favourites and so familiar as well!
    keep food blogging!

  10. Posted November 30, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I’m glad you shared this, Joumana! My hubby just recently bought a ton of lamb and I’ve been looking for delicious new ways to make it…he’ll love this!

  11. Posted November 30, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    That looks like exactly what this grey day calls for, a delicious, hearty soup full of greens. Yum.

  12. Jagruti
    Posted November 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    you are right..wnter is upon us and feel like having hot stuff…winter warmer soup looks yummy !!

  13. Posted November 30, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Joumana, you are right, this lamb shank soup is perfect for the cold weather…and the veggies in it just sounds delicious…SO SO comforting :-)

  14. Posted November 30, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Well there you go! I did not know you could eat turnip greens!

  15. Posted November 30, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I love turnip greens. This looks awesome!

  16. Posted December 1, 2010 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    First time here and loving it :)
    Oh this is soo similar to my mom’s recipe except that instead of turnip greens she uses raddish greens.And I always include potatoes in my red meat preparations..they just taste so yum. Its so funny [ & ugly :)] when I eat the bone marrow..I try to make a vaccum in my mouth and suck it out of the bone..having said that I am already embarrased :)

  17. Posted December 1, 2010 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I have alot of lmab in my freezer … I think I will make your recipe Joumana!

  18. Posted December 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Wow Joumana what a fabulous soup! Well, more a meal than a soup. And how I love lamb! That cilantro pesto is an amazing touch. I sound so wow wow wow but this is a dish that I would really love! What a great recipe!

  19. Posted December 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    At our table…we childishly fight for who gets the biggest bone full of our favourite marrow. LOL

    Those turnips look perfect…especially having them as fresh as that…I can certainly see why you’d want to use them in this comforting soup.

    Everything looks very flavourful. Thanks for all the comfort you give us ;o)

    Ciao for now,

  20. Posted December 2, 2010 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I love bone marrow more than I can describe…

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