Recipe: Lamb soup with pasta

Lamb soup with pasta shells : Soppa tal-ħaruf bl-għaġin bebbux

Aqra din ir-riċetta bil-Malti: Soppa tal-ħaruf bl-għaġin bebbux

This unusual soup made with shank of lamb takes time to prepare, however the slow cooking ensures that the lamb meat is tender and literally falls off the bone. Therefore, do not reduce the cooking time as the result will not be the same.

Time: 2 hours



  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 shanks of lamb
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 400 g tomato polpa 
  • 1 litre beef stock or lamb stock 
  • 100 g pasta shells of large size
  • Handful of fresh basil or sage, finely chopped
  • Salt and ground fresh pepper
  • 4 small wholemeal rolls, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan on moderate to high heat.
  2. Add the shanks of lamb and char all around. Lift and place on a plate.
  3. Reduce heat to moderate and add the onion, carrots and celery. Stir for around 3 minutes or until softened.
  4. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
  5. Increase the heat once again and return the lamb to the saucepan. Add the tomatoes, stock and 500 ml of water.
  6. When the soup comes to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for an hour and a half.
  7. Lift the shanks from the soup, remove the meat from the bone and cut into pieces.
  8. Meanwhile bring the the soup to boil again and add the pasta shells. Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.
  9. Add the lamb meat and the basil or sage, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  10. Serve the soup with fresh bread.

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