A traditional soup made in every household is made up of lamb shanks simmered until they fall off the bone, a handful of rice or wheat berries and a sprinkle of minced parsley.
Lamb shanks can be substituted with beef or veal shanks. Rice can replace the wheat berries. Lemon quarters can be provided with this soup to add a citrusy note to an otherwise dark and meaty-tasting broth.
- 1 or 2 lamb or beef shanks
- 1 large onion
- Spices: salt, pepper, a bay leaf, a cinnamon stick, a few cloves, a few allspice berries, a carrot, a clove of garlic
- 1/2 cup of wheat berries or rice, soaked in warm salty water for at least 30 minutes
- 1 or 2 lemons
- olive oil, as needed
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on the shanks; heat some olive oil in the pot and brown the shanks all over. Place an onion peeled and studded with cloves in the pot, a bay leaf, allspice berries, carrot and garlic and 6 cups of tap water in the pot. Bring to a boil, skim the surface every so often and simmer the shanks for one hour or longer until they fall off the bone.
- Collect the shanks and set aside. At this point, strain the soup and place in the freezer. After two hours, skim all the fat that has congealed on the surface of the broth.
- Place the broth back on the stove and bring to a simmer; drop the wheat berries in the broth and cook for 30 minutes or longer until the berries have swelled and are soft and chewy. Place the pieces of shank back in in the pot, sprinkle with minced parsley and serve with lemon quarters if desired.
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