Lamb shank and veggie soup with quinoa

Sutherland to surf
As I stood amongst the 7800 strong crowd, my heart raced at the excitement of running my first ever Sutherland to surf fun run today.
Just 2 years ago I’d never have dreamt I’d be fit enough to run it, let alone walk it.
All the training I’d done leading up to this moment made it worth it – and made the run that much more enjoyable. I have to admit there were some hard parts – ie hills, albeit not many of them.
My official result: 1 hour, 11 minutes and 41 seconds. Not bad for a 40 year old first timer! It’s such a great sense of achievement when you cross over that finish line.
It was all the more fun with my friend Julie. After we finished, and the sun eventually broke through, we walked over to Cronulla mall and celebrated with a large, hot cup of coffee and a satisfying breakfast.

Sutho to surf 2
Julie and I taking a selfie while waiting..


Sutho to surf 4
Waiting at the starting line..


Sutho to surf 5
The welcome sight of a rainbow on the way to breakfast.

So today is a comfort food kind of day despite the sun making an appearance. Hence, I’m posting another soup recipe – lamb shank and veggie soup with the addition of nutrient rich quinoa (pronounced keen-wah).
If you haven’t tasted quinoa before, I can tell you it has a unique texture. Creamy, light, fluffy and nutty. I treat it exactly the same way as I treat rice – add lots of flavour. It’s not too important in this dish though as it’s not the star but it’s still choc full of vitamins and minerals. It also doesn’t  leave you with that bloated, stodgy feeling that rice can. If you don’t want to use quinoa, simply replace with brown rice or millet (or alternatively you can use split peas or lentils).

What is quinoa?

Not a grain, but in fact a seed, quinoa is native to South America and was referred to as the “mother seed” by the Incas.
It is high in protein (in fact, it’s called a complete protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids) and is low in calories and carbohydrates.
It’s 100% gluten free and can be used in savoury or sweet dishes, especially any dish you would use rice with.
When cooking with quinoa, make sure you rinse each time as it is covered by a coating of bitter tasting saponins.  Simply place in a sieve and run hot water over it, swishing it as you go. Once cooked, quinoa develops a little “tail”.
Quinoa can be found at most supermarkets and health food stores.

Cuts of lamb for soups and stews

I have used lamb shanks in this particular recipe, although I have tried it with lamb shoulder as well which is a cheaper cut (also called stewing lamb in some supermarkets) . The cut of lamb you use for soups and stews is important.
For more information on what cut of lamb to use for any type of cooking, click here .

Why this is so good for you

Lamb (grass fed, free range or organic) helps prevent cardiovascular disease, reduces inflammation, aids in metabolic reactions in the body, helps produce red blood cells; and helps support normal cell division and healing of wounds.
Sweet potato helps lower blood pressure, helps repair skin cell damage, helps prevent macular degeneration, helps treat anemia; and  contributes to glowing skin and healthy hair.
Potato lowers blood pressure, supports a healthy digestive system, protects against colon cancer, helps lower bad cholesterol, helps provide relief from rheumatism and help reduce inflammation.
Garlic has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties, supports the circulatory, digestive and immune systems, helps lower blood pressure, assists in detoxification, prevents formation of blood clots, reduces blood pressure, helps with asthma, regulates blood sugar levels in diabetics and lowers the risk of most types of cancer.
Onions strengthen the immune system, help regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, help prevent cancer and reduce the risk of gastric ulcers.
Carrots help keep eyesight strong, reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer, are anti aging, prevent heart disease, help flush out toxins, reduce the risk of stroke, improve immune function; and a little surprise I discovered – reduce PMS symptoms (when eating one raw carrot a day)
Quinoa aids in tissue growth and repair, helps reduce type 2 diabetes, helps prevent colon cancer, helps prevent cardiovascular disease, reduces frequency of migraine attacks, aids in digestion and helps prevent cramping after exercising.
Coconut oil helps boost metabolism and aids in weight loss, helps boost endurance, detoxes the body, protects the heart, prevents and heals candida, helps improve the digestive system and prevents irritable bowl syndrome, strengthens the immune system, kills the viruses that causes influenza, hepatitis and measles, helps stop tooth decay, helps prevent liver disease, helps dissolve kidney stones, prevents and treats diabetes, kills the bacteria that causes throat infections; and heals damaged tissues and infections.


Lamb shank and veggie soup with quinoa


  • Coconut oil for frying (or oil of choice)
  • 3 lamb shanks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tub tomato paste
  • 2 litres gluten free beef stock (free range/grass fed/organic)
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • To serve
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Chopped flat leaf parsley


  1. Heat oil in a stock pot on low to medium and add the vegetables. Cook until onion is translucent,
  2. Remove vegetables and add a little more oil. Fry the lamb shanks all over until browned.
  3. Return vegetables to the pot and add the smoked paprika and stir.
  4. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute before adding the stock.
  5. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until meat falls off the bone. (In the last 20 minutes of cooking, add the rinsed quinoa)
  6. Remove shanks and place on cutting board. Shred.
  7. Stir meat back through the soup.
  8. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Serve with a nice big squeeze of lemon and roughly chopped flat leaf parsley.


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