slow cooked lamb soup

I wanted to make a soup because tis the season to make, well, soup.  Though I am in Florida and there is no cold weather in site, I still wanted to make something hearty and healthy to enjoy so I just thought it out in my mind based on ingredients I already had and went to the kitchen to make it.
Start with about one stalk of celery, chopped.  (If I had an onion on hand I would have julienned and tossed that in there also but I used onion powder instead.)
2 huge cloves of garlic.
You will roughly chop the garlic.
So, what does huge mean?  Here is a photo of the second section of my thumb and the clove is as big as my thumb.
Now, here are the spices that I used.  The only thing I would do differently is I would put them in a cheese cloth and tie it off so I could pull it out later because the whole peppercorns and allspice gave pops of peppery flavor that may be too strong for some.
Here we have salt, whole peppercorns, allspice, dried bay leaves (which I pulled out at the last minute), China Szechuan peppercorns and dried thyme.
Here is a closer look at the China Szechuan peppercorns….
If you cannot find these particular peppercorns, don’t worry about it.  Simply use regular peppercorns.
For a different type of heat I usually throw in some red pepper flakes.  Believe it or not, this dish was spicy but it really was not hot.
Lemon zest… be sure to zest the lemon before you cut it.
Here I have two lamb chops.  They were about an inch and a half thick.
The slow cooker already on low, I tossed in the celery.
Chicken broth or stock.
Diced tomatoes.
Threw in all of my spices and stirred it together.
The steam fogged up my camera lens but here is the soup after about 8 hours on the low setting.  Here is your chance to skim the extra fat off of the top.  There is not lots of fat so you could skip this step if you want to.
Here is the finished product with a sprig of fresh parsley.
The meat is falling off of the bone and this soup is so hearty and filling.  I garnished with parsley, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and goat cheese (not pictured here).  I didn’t add the photo with the goat cheese because the white goat cheese really clouded the soup and it was not a pretty site but let me tell you it was delicious!  

Recipe

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 dried bay leafs
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp (4 berries) allspice
  • 1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp China Szechuan peppercorns (or regular)
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 to 4 thick cut lamb chops or shanks
  •  1 can of diced tomatoes (14 oz can)
Combine all in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Garnish
  • Parsley
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Plain goat cheese
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