On a cold winter’s day, this slow cooker lamb shank and vegetable soup is one to warm the tummy.
This thick and flavorful soup is an old family recipe passed down from generation to generation.
Stating from New Zealand, the recipe was brought to Australia from Shannon’s Mother’s side of the family and adapted and modernized through the years.
My mother-in-law’s Nana taught this recipe to her, and it has now been handed down to us.
Typically cooked in a large stockpot, I have now adapted it to suit the busy family by cooking it in a slow cooker.
Making Slow Cooker Lamb Shank and Vegetable Soup.
If you find you are usually quite busy in the morning, you can prep for this the night before and store it in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
Make sure you place the vegetables in some water to avoid them turning brown overnight. Then drain in the morning.
To make this, the ingredients you need are:
- Lamb Shanks
- Celery Sticks
- Large Onion
- Soup Mix
- White Rice
- Large Potato
- Powder Chicken Stock
In a food processor, grate the carrots, parsnip, turnip, swede, and zucchini.
Finely chop the onion and potato, and cut the celery into thick chunks.
Thinly slice the leek’s stork, or you can cut half the stork and half the leaves.
*Note – If you are using the leaves of the leek, make sure you wash them thoroughly under cold water before slicing to remove any of the dirt from the inside. You do not want any of this getting into your soup.
Place these into the slow cooker, along with the rice, soup mix, chicken stock, and Vegeta.
Make a well in the center and add a liter of water and mix everything until well combined.
Place the lamb shanks on top and press them down into the mixture, and then top up the water till it reaches the max level indicator on your slow cooker.
Make sure that the water covers all the ingredients and the lamb shanks.
*Note – I used the Philips all in one cooker, but if you are using a different slow cooker, the amount of water needed may be different from the recipe.
The water must cover the ingredients, and if you have to add more than what the recipe calls for, that is ok.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and set to low, and cook for 8 hours.
If you are home at the 6-hour mark, take the lamb shanks out and place them on a plate so that they can cook down.
Give everything a good stir, top up the water to the max level again, and replace the lid.
The shanks will take about 30 minutes to an hour to cool enough for you to remove the meat from the bone.
If you cannot do this at the 6-hour mark, that is ok; you can do this later or even right at the end of the cooking time.
Once cooled, tear the meat up into bite sized chunks and add them back to the slow cooker to warm through and allow to cook for the remainder of the time.
What if I don’t have a slow cooker to cook this.
If you do not have a slow cooker, you can cook this in a large stockpot on the stove.
- In a 6-liter stockpot, add 2 and ½ to 3 Litres of water and the Lamb Shanks. Finely Chop onions and thickly slice the celery sticks and add to the stockpot. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to the boil.
- While boiling, add the soup mix. Allow it to boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Then turn down to medium-low heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 30 minutes, add the rice, chopped potatoes, and finely sliced leek. Allow it to simmer for a further 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 30 minutes, remove the lamb shanks and put them aside to cool.
- Add the grated Zucchinis, carrots, parsnips, turnip, and swede and stir well.
- Add the Vegeta and chicken stock and stir well.
- Remove the meat of the bone of the lamb shanks and pull apart any huge pieces, then add back to the soup and stir.
- Allow the soup to simmer on low heat for 1hour and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want your soup to cook right down; you may need extra cooking time for it to thicken.
*Note – stir as often as possible to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom and burning.
How to store the soup.
This soup, I have to say, is fantastic the next day. I like cooking this the day before and then putting it in an air-tight container, putting it in the fridge to warm up the next day for lunch or dinner.
The soup will keep up to 2 to 3 days in the fridge. However, before you decide to reheat it, taste it first to make sure it is still ok.
But if you want to keep it longer, you can freeze this soup and keep it for up to 3 months.
Making it handy for when you want to create individual meals or have leftovers will make for another dinner.
What causes the soup to thicken?
You may be wondering why the soup thickens when you are not adding any cornstarch or heavy whipping cream to it.
It is the rice and potatoes that help thicken this soup.
Most of the rice and potatoes break down during the cooking process, allowing the starch to act as a thickener for the soup.
Are there health benefits to soup?
We all know soups are good for us. How many of us as children had chicken soup when we were sick and do the same for our kids now.
But there are quite a lot of health benefits to soups, mostly vegetable-based ones.
For more information on these benefits, there is an interesting article on taste.com.au called “The benefits of healthy soup.”
Other soup recipes you will love.
Soups are really great during winter, but they are not only for lunch or dinner, but they also are good and an entire as well.
Here are some other soup ideas:
Nanna’s Slow Cooker Lamb Shank and Vegetable Soup
- 2 litres Water
- 2 Lamb Shanks
- 2 Celery Sticks
- 1 Large Onions
- 125 g Soup Mix
- 75 g Rice
- 1 Large Potatoes
- ½ Leek
- 1 Zucchini
- 3 Carrots
- 2 Parsnips
- 1 Small Swede
- 1 Small Turnip
- 1 ½ tbsp Vegeta
- 3 tbsp Powder Chicken Stock
- Grate the zucchini, carrots, parsnips, turnips, and swede. Finely dice the onion and potato, then thickly dice the celery.
- Add all the grated and chopped vegetables to the slow cooker. Along with the rice, soup mix, powdered chicken shock, and vegeta.
- Make a well in the center and pour in 1 liter of water. Mix well.
- Once mix, press the lamb shanks down into the mixture and top up the water till it reaches the max level on your slow cooker.
- Put on the lid and set to low and let it cook for 8 hours.
- Once you reach the 6-hour mark, take the lamb shanks out and set them aside to cool. Give the mixture a stir and top on the water till it reaches the max level again.
- Once cooled, tear off the meat into bite-size chunks and add the meat back into the slow cooker. Stir well and let cook for the remaining time.
- Serve as is or with some cut up breadstick
- The grains and potatoes create the thickness for the soup from their starch content