Lamb shank and bean soup

February 7, 2010  •  Category:


One of my pet peeves is this: I go out to eat at a “nice” restaurant, I order soup, I taste the soup, it tastes CANNED. AAAAh!!!! Am I nuts or do other people feel as annoyedas I do?

Soup is so important! I mean, anybody can throw a piece of meat on a grill and serve it with some veggies! Big deal! The other day, I was invited at a seafood place. O.K. I order lobster bisque and not only did it taste canned but it had so much cream in it, I could barely swallow it.

My point is this: A good soup takes times. The broth needs to be homemade. That’s why when I take the time to make this homey Lebanese soup, it is consumed within the hour; yet it takes me 2 days to make it.


  • 2 nice lamb shanks
  • 4 onions
  • 1 large can of Italian tomatoes or Pomi or 1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced thick
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves
  • spices for the broth: thyme, sprig of parsley, a few cloves of garlic, some cloves, some peppercorns, a bay leaf.
  • 1 1/2 cups of white beans or any type of bean that you like.


  1. Make the lamb stock: Brown the shanks in a little oil on all sides. Add at least 6 cups of water to the pot and one onion and all the spices.
  2. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for at least one hour. Cook until the lamb falls off the bone. Cool and when it has been refrigerated for a while, take off any fat that has congealed on the surface.
  3. Chop the onions; in a skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil; add the onions, fry till golden; add the tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes. Cool and puree in a blender. Set aside.
  4. Reheat the lamb stock, remove the shanks and set aside. Add the beans to the stock and simmer, adding more water; add the carrots and garlic cloves,  simmer  till the beans are cooked. Add the tomato sauce, cook 20 minutes longer.
  5. Remove all the fat and membranes from the shanks, keeping the meat pieces which will fall off the bone easily. Add to the soup.
  6. Serve hot, garnish with some parsley.


19 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Joanne says:

    This is why I don’t order soups at restaurants. I’ve just never had any that I’ve really been WOWed by. I could see myself being wowed by yours though. Love lamb…serious love.

  2. peter says:

    Joumana, there are some canned beans that are rather good but I surely wouldn’t never expect a restaurant to serve me up canned beans. My pet peeve is processed dips that could/can be made daily from scratch.

    We call beans Fassolia…small world!

  3. TastyTrix says:

    Canned soup at a restaurant is a sin! It shows no pride in one’s work, a real shame.

  4. Angie@Angie's Recipe says:

    I usually don’t eat soups….esp. not in the restaurants.
    Yours bean soup looks absolutely classic.

  5. Rosa says:

    that looks so flavorful and delicious!



  6. Azita says:

    there’s nothing more satisfying than a hot and delicious bowl of homemade soup with fresh ingredients! this lamb shank and bean soup looks so amazing.

  7. rebecca says:

    oh wow great soup nothing beats homemade soup

  8. Sushma Mallya says:

    loved the colour of the dish,looks superb….

  9. Priya says:

    Omg wat a fantastic soup, first time here and u have beautiful space…love browsing through urs..

  10. Michelle says:

    Your soup looks so rich and luscious and the only way you can get that is to make it and let it simmer for hours.

  11. shayma says:

    mmm soup. homemade soup. and that too, with a meaty, fatty lamb shank. beans and meat were just meant to go together, Joumana, werent they? x shayma

  12. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Absolutely! Soup should not taste canned at all when you’re in a restaurant! I coudlnt’ helpbut think that a restaurant that would serve canned soup would make shortcuts everywhere else too! This soup however looks heavenly! 😀

  13. Simply Life says:

    wow what a great soup! Perfect for these cold days!

    Yes, I found whole wheat couscous at Trader Joe’s!

  14. peachkins says:

    I love soups…So I, too, always order soup when we go out. Your looks like comfort food!

  15. amal says:

    voilà qui me rend nostalgique!! j’adore ce genre de plats et c’est parfait pour le climat du moment..

  16. spice says:

    My dear hubby never let me order salads & soups in the restaurants…..I should say thanks to him….Iove the lamb soup….

  17. Mona says:

    Perfect for winters!

  18. domi says:

    Moi une soupe comme celle là je veux en manger tous les jours . C’ est beaucoup plus qu’ une soupe, c’ est un ragoût…que dis je c’est un régal, une merveille. Et toujours ces photos magnifiques….

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