Cochin Lamb Soup. For rejuvenation.

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Monsoon in Kerala

This soup is made during the monsoon season in Kerala and is taken for rejuvenation.

  • 2 lamb shanks or 500gms/1 lb leg of lamb, cubed
  • 1.5 litres/3 pints meat stock or water
  • 250 gm/8 oz onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cloves
  • ½” – 1″/1½ – 2½ cm cinnamon stick
  • 3 – 4 peppercorns, crushed
  • 3 curry leaves
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Celtic sea salt.
  • 25gm/1 oz clarified butter.

To finish the soup:

  • 10 gms/¼ oz black mustard seeds
  • 20 gms/1 oz finely chopped shallots – or reserve a bit of the onion from above.
  • 5 gms/¼oz cornflour
  • 10 gms/½oz clarified butter.

Serves 4.

  1. Melt the butter, then add all the ingredients into a large pan.
  2. Bring to the boil, cover and cook until meat is done.  This will probably take about 2 hours with lamb shanks, but only 45mins if cubed leg is used.  For maximum goodness, the lamb shanks are better since they have lovely bones in them.  (You could use minced lamb, which would reduce the cooking time further.)
  3. When the meat is cooked, take out the lamb shanks and pull the meat off the bones – this should be ridiculously easy to do.  Shred the meat and put to one side for now.  If you used cubes of lamb you can pull them out now or leave them in for blending. (If you used minced lamb, I would just blend the whole lot.)
  4. The recipe says to strain the soup, however I recommend blending it so we retain maximum goodness from the ingredients.  That said, you may want to remove the curry leaves.
  5. Return the meat to the pan. If you want the soup a little thicker, melt the cornflour in water in a cup, then add to the soup, stir about whilst reheating.   You could serve it now, having checked the seasoning or you can add the garnish:
  6. The garnish: melt the clarified butter in a pan, add the mustard seeds and let them sputter briefly, then add the onion and briefly saute until soft, but, for health, not brown.
  7. Turn the heat off under the soup, sprinkle the garnish on the top and serve.

This is a simplified version.  The original recipe can be found on this link:

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