Inspired by a simple Tunisian tomato based chickpea soup, with the addition of sweet potatoes, lamb shank, shiitake mushrooms and ghost pepper, this soup evolved into a thick, flavorful stew in an oh-so satisfying spicy, yet mildly sweet broth.
Lamb shanks are small, but the trade off is deliciously tender and mild meat. The soup will be dotted with occasional flavorful, fall apart bites. When buying your shank, ask your butcher to cut through the bone of the shank in a couple spots. This way you can ensure the precious bone marrow will infuse into the broth.
Serve and be nourished
Fresh garnishes are the finishing touch. The combination of the warming, cooked down stew and the crisp, sharp flavors of the raw elements create an incredibly satisfying balance. I recommend avocado, cilantro, even fresh diced tomatoes, finely minced onions and some Harissa sauce if you have it.
If dairy is your thing, top with a combination of watercress and feta for a decadent din’!
This soup makes for excellent leftovers too. Switch up the garnishes to keep it interesting throughout the week.
If you don’t have access to ground ghost pepper, use whatever variety of ground chili pepper you have available to add some kick to your broth. Watch your eyes if you did get your hands on some ghost pepper! It’s hot and can become wildly airborne. I’m not kidding.
After adding the shiitake mushrooms, don’t cook them for longer than 7 minutes. This is just enough time to make them edible, while retaining precious healing nutrients.
This soup easily becomes a hearty and nutritious vegan dish if you omit the lamb and use water or veggie broth. You’ll get the bio-available iron from the shiitake and plenty of plant based protein.