Soup and Bread

Lebanese Lamb Stew

IMG_2276From Dana Bassett

I made my Lebanese Lamb Stew in response to the “Sanctuary Soup” theme of celebrating immigrant roots. My paternal family immigrated to the United States from “the old country” (Syria/ Lebanon) in the first quarter of the 20th century. Like many families, my great grandfather went first and later sent for my great grandmother, brandmother (“Sitty” in Arabic) and great aunt(y) Mary when he was established in the burgeoning Syrian/ Lebanese community around Kanawha Street in Charleston, WV (strange, I know, but that’s where we ended up).

I’m extremely proud of my heritage and I love to cook recipes from the cookbook my Aunt Mary was co-author of through the Shums ‘Il Bir [Woman’s] Club at the St. George Cathedral in Charleston. Published in 1966, my family boasts that this is the first Syrian-Lebanese cookbook in the USA (unsubstantiated, but I like to believe it). Unfortunately, the soup recipes I found in the book were anemic at best (not sure how much soup people are eating in the desert) and depended on esoteric ingredients so instead I decided to make my own based on traditional flavors and a hodgepodge of “Middle Eastern” and Moroccan soup recipes I read online. So here is (my best attempt at) the recipe: 


2 pounds lamb cut into cubes (I used leg of lamb, but could be whatever, extra bones are good for stewing also)
2 onions
1 large shallot
1/2 head of garlic
1 can tomato paste
2 cans diced tomato
6 carrots (cut into bit sized pieces)
2 quarts chicken stock
1 quart water
1 T coriander
2 T cumin
1 T paprika
2 cinnamon sticks
fresh thyme
2 cups green lentils
3 bags frozen spinach
salt & pepper
olive oil 


Heat up approximately 1 tablespoon oil in soup pot. Season the lamb with salt & pepper and brown when oil is hot. Remove lamb, reserve in bowl. 

Dice onions, shallot & garlic, add to hot pot. Make sure to get the lamb bits in the onions. Cook until soft. 

Re add the meat, and add spices to pot. Cook for a minute or two, stirring entire time. 

Stir in tomato paste, diced tomatoes, carrots, chicken broth, water, and  fresh thyme to pot. Bring to boil and the reduce to low and cook for 1 hour.

Next add lentils to soup & cook for 15-30 minutes (until lentils are finished). 

Finish by mixing in spinach and adding any additional spices/ salt to taste. 

Share with your friends! 

Posted: Monday Apr 3,2017 05:18 PM In Soup Recipes

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