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Cleaning out the Pantry – Moroccan Lamb Soup

Every day I have a good (or bad) meal or visit a bistro or shop and I think ‘Oooh…I should blog this’. Then I go home and have a million other things to do and ask myself ‘Do people really want to read about what I cooked for dinner last night?’ Then I get an email or comment from someone and I think ‘Maybe they do’.

I regularly make soups on a Sunday with a standard onion, stock, tinned tomatoes, soup bones base and then add some beans or pasta or rice etc. If you make a big batch, it’s a great way to top up your winter meals during the week without piling on the kilos. Freezes well too. As you all know by now, I am determined to use as many of those precious and exotic ingredients in my pantry as I can before I depart these shores. Hence the need to ‘spice things up’. So here is my latest pantry clean out recipe (I wished I’d taken a photo):

Moroccan Lamb Soup

1 x leftover lamb bone from the dinner party two weeks ago (don’t worry, it was frozen)
1 x leftover broccoli stalk from dinner with Josie on Wednesday
1 x leftover sad looking zucchini
1 x tin crushed tomatoes (Ardmona is my preference)
4 x cups of stock
1 x onion chopped
1 x carrot chopped
good fistful of puy lentils
another good fistful of couscous
1 tbspn crushed garlic paste (or a couple of cloves of garlic)
1 tbspn harissa paste
1 tbspn ground cumin
salt and pepper
leftover feta to garnish


  • Heat a small amount of oil, fry off the onions until starting to brown then add the harissa and fry very briefly.
  • Add the lamb bones (these had some sumac and oregano remaining on them which added some extra depth of flavour) cumin and garlic and fry for a little longer (a few minutes maximum as the lamb is already cooked and we don’t want the garlic to burn.
  • Add the tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil and then turn down and simmer for 15 minutes (or maybe 20 minutes – who can say…)
  • Add the lentils and chopped broccoli stalk and continue simmering for 5 minutes
  • Add the carrot and couscous and continue simmering for at least 5 minutes but longer if you like.
  • At this stage, as the lamb was already cooked, it should be easily removed from the bone and shredded back into the soup
  • Ladle into bowls and crumble feta (not very Moroccan, I know) on top

Sadly, I used up nothing except the leftovers but it was very tasty indeed with just the right amount of heat from the harissa. There is a little less of the harissa, lentils and couscous but as I sit here writing this I think ‘Why didn’t I add olives?’, ‘I could have included a drizzle of honey or pomegranate molasses.’…..I’m just going to have to try harder!

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