This rich lamb and vegetable soup, also known as Shurpa is a well-known dish in Uzbekistan. Simple to make, this one is sure to become a favorite you’ll make over and over again!
It’s no secret that I like to make cozy food, particularly during these fall months. Here in Toronto it feels like we wake up to darkness and at some point, around 10 am, we realize that it probably isn’t going to get any lighter. Other people might spend days like these knitting sweaters or doing scrapbooking, but not me. I genuinely enjoy standing over my cutting board, gazing out at the dreary mist, and chopping away at various vegetables that will eventually become a savory dinner.
I know we will survive these cold dark days, thanks to recipes like this Uzbek Shurpa Soup. Rich, fatty broth combined with generous pieces of lamb and vegetables, slowly cooked with fragrant spices and herbs – it’s not just another soup, it’s a real medicine! After indulging on a plate or two of Shurpa you’ll gain energy for the whole day, quickly recover after a stormy night out, and even help cure any cold or flu symptoms.
This soup requires some patience and high-quality ingredients. Not the kind of soup you can cook from scraps. Ask your butcher for a good quality lamb on a bone, preferably ribs. I used a rack of lamb and my broth turned out phenomenally rich and hearty. Lots of onions, flashy red bell peppers, ripe and sweet tomatoes, fresh and fragrant herbs. Slowly simmer everything in a pot and in a few hours you will be rewarded with the most delicious Uzbek Shurpa Soup.
- 1-2 lb lamb ribs
- 3 medium yellow onions, sliced
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 3 medium potatoes, halfed
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 chili pepper, sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp oil
- Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in Dutch oven over high heat and brown meat on all sides, about 5 minutes.
- Cover the meat with water and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that comes up.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook partially covered for 30 minutes.
- Add carrots and onions to the soup and cook for 20 minutes longer.
- While the soup is cooking, combine sliced sweet onion with sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside to marinate.
- Add potatoes, spices, salt and pepper to the pot and simmer until potatoes are almost cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Add peppers and tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Add marinated onion and its juices to the soup and cook for a few more minutes.
- Serve garnished with cilantro.