Lamb shank and wheat berry soup

November 20, 2011  •  Category:


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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


19 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Melanie@MelanieCooks says:

    Gorgeous soup, and such a nice bowl!

  2. Belinda @zomppa says:

    MMM – a hearty, nutty, soup with such depth!

  3. 5 Star Foodie says:

    sounds like a warming and flavorful soup, great with wheat berries!

  4. Tracy Zhu says:

    I like cooking on a wood stove and this looks like a good candidate for that. Another beautifully staged photograph.

  5. Chiara says:

    A great confort food to keep on hands..I love this kind of soup, perfect for winter, have a good week…

  6. Priya says:

    Definitely a filling and super comforting soup for this chilled weather..

  7. sare says:

    Dear Joumana, very very delicious soup. We love it. I generally make it whear berry,we called soup” çorba” in Türkiye.
    See you.

  8. Bria @ West of Persi says:

    Love the elegant, yet hearty simplicity of this dish. A classic for sure, and your food styling is beautiful.

  9. Asmita says:

    Lovely clear soup, and so hearty.

  10. Susan says:

    This must taste wonderful and healthy but the bowl really steals the show 🙂

  11. samir says:

    very nice.a classic indeed… a cinnamon stick goes great w/ the onion studded with clove in this dish, never tried the garlic or bayleaf in it .but will

  12. domi says:

    Une soupe parfumée et savoureuse qui a de la…cuisse

  13. Heavenly Housewife says:

    What a delicious and comforting meal, my husband would love this dish!
    *kisses* HH

  14. Kathy says:

    This looks so wonderful for a cold day…and we are having plenty of cold days here in the Northeast. My grandmother used to make a soup with wheatberries. Would love to try this.

  15. pierre says:

    elle me parait bien réconfortante cette soupe !Pierre

  16. Magic of Spice says:

    What a beautiful soup…I have a friend that loves lamb and always looking for new ways to provide a delight for him 🙂 This is lovely!

  17. Lurraine says:

    We deifitenly need more smart people like you around.

  18. 7alim says:

    If I’m serving this as an entree, what would be a good, easy appetizer? What about a dessert to follow?

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