- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 medium lamb shanks, fat trimmed
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 large tomatoes, diced
- 2 very low salt chicken stock cubes mixed with 1 litre boiling water
- 80g puy or green lentils, rinsed
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
- 1 tbsp finely grated parmesan
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- Heat 1tsp olive oil in a large pan or stock pot over a medium-high heat. Add the lamb shanks and cook, turning, for 4–5 min until well browned. Transfer to a plate.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same pan. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, for 6–7 min until softened. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 min, then return the lamb to the pan.
- Add the bay leaves, tomatoes and stock, then cover and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 1 hr 30 min. Add the lentils, then cover and simmer for a further 30–45 min until the meat is very tender and starting to fall away from the bone. Use tongs to transfer the lamb to a plate and remove the meat from the bone. Coarsely shred. Skim and discard any excess fat from the surface of the soup. Return the lamb to the pan and season with black pepper.
- Combine the parsley, parmesan and lemon zest and sprinkle over the soup to serve.
TIP Freezing soup: Make sure all the meat and vegetables are covered by a good layer of the soup stock to prevent them drying out, but don’t overfill bags or containers as soup will expand in the freezer. Don’t forget to label them clearly – soups are hard to identify once frozen!