Thursday, January 17, 2008

Garbanzo and White Bean Soup Recipe with Lamb and Rosemary

Garbanzo and White Bean Soup with LambYes, I'm still making soup! I hope readers from warmer climates aren't getting bored with all my soup posts, but in Utah the temperature has been below freezing for literally weeks. When it's cold like that I get obsessed with making soup, and my freezer is full of various soups all winter long. For this latest one I used lamb, paired with rosemary and beans, three ingredients I think are just meant to hang out together. Lamb is definitely one of my favorite meats, but it's something I don't cook that often because it's so expensive. I had a tiny piece of leg of lamb in the freezer leftover from Lamb Shish Kabobs, and it was fun turning it into a delicious soup.

Rosemary is an ingredient that can easily be overdone in a dish like this where it's going to be cooked for a long time, and I only used one teaspoon of finely chopped rosemary, but it's essential to the flavor I wanted for the soup. (See the recipe if you only have dried rosemary.) This was frozen rosemary from my garden, something I use all winter long. Rosemary is very easy to grow, and fresh or frozen rosemary is always my choice over dried. Rosemary is listed among the World's Healthiest Foods for it's anti-inflammatory compounds and substances that stimulate the immune system, and scientists have also found that rosemary is good for your brain, backing up legendary claims that it improves memory. It's been a while since I've featured rosemary for Weekend Herb Blogging, but this is my entry for WHB #116, hosted by Rinku of Cooking in Westchester.

Garbanzo and White Bean Soup with Lamb and Rosemary
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1 can small white beans
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 T olive oil + more for browning meat
1 tsp. very finely chopped fresh or frozen rosemary (could use 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary ground in mortar and pestle if fresh rosemary is not available)
1 cup beef stock (I used homemade beef stock)
6 cups chicken stock (I used homemade chicken stock)
(If you don't have homemade stock, use 1 can beef broth and 3 cans chicken broth)
1 cup water
1/2 lb. leg of lamb or lamb shoulder meat, all fat trimmed, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Put garbanzo beans and white beans in colander and rinse well with cold water. Let beans drain while you chop and saute onions, celery, and carrots. (Rinsing the canned beans like this makes them less gas-producing.)

Heat 1 T olive oil in large heavy frying pan. Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute 3 minutes, until vegetables are starting to soften. Add chopped rosemary and saute 2-3 minutes more.

Put vegetables and herbs into large soup pot, then add beef stock, chicken stock, water, and beans. Simmer at very low heat 1 hour.

Brown lamb in same pan you sauteed the vegetables in, adding a little more olive oil if needed. Add browned lamb to soup. Rinse out pan with a little water, scraping off any browned bits, and add to soup. Simmer about one more hour, until beans are very soft and flavors are well blended. Serve hot.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Although dried beans are approved for every phase of the South Beach Diet, the addition of carrots makes this a soup for phase 2 or 3. It could be easily made with double celery and no carrots if you wanted to use it for phase one. Be sure the lamb is well-trimmed to keep the saturated fat low for South Beach Diet.

More Soups, Stews, or Curries with Lamb:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Lamb Curry with Cauliflower and Double Cilantro
Basque Lamb Stew from Simply Recipes
Mild Indian Lamb Curry from La Tartine Gourmande
Wolfgang Pucks Lentil Soup with Lamb Meatballs from Je Mange la Ville
Curried Lamb and Lentil Stew from A Mingling of Tastes
Artichoke Heart and Lamb Stew from Almost Turkish Recipes
Persian Pomegranate Soup with Lamb Meatballs from Tigers and Strawberries
Peter's Lamb Curry from Bear Necessities
Kashmir Lamb Curry from Erin's Kitchen
Lamb Stew from Cookblogcounter customizable free hit
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  1. Looks delish. And as someone who raises sheep, you know I always love it when you share lamb recipes!

  2. Kalyn, I'm a soup person (almost no salads in winter) and yeah, bring on the soups.

    As for expensive lamb, cheap lamg cuts like shanks and shoulder work fine and you can make lamb stock, which can then lead to a Scotch Broth.

  3. I love soup season too. In fact I had it for dinner last night, just can't get enough. I am surprised your rosemary doesn't survive the winter? I can harvest mine all year long.

  4. Thanks Susan. You're so lucky to have lots of delicious lamb. (With apologies to all the vegetarians out there, but I'm drooling!)

    Peter, even those cuts are pretty expensive here compared to other meat, but Scotch Broth does sound good.

    Katerina, the rosemary is probably alive, although some years it does die during the winter. I'm just not willing to traipse through a backyard covered with snow and then dig off the snow to get to it.

  5. Kalyn, I never get tired of soup and have bookmarked this one to try.

  6. You'd think with all the bread I've been baking I'd have been making soup but we've been in the 70's mostly. Except last night it got down to 27° and I say hooray. Maybe I'll start swimming in soup soon. This sure has all the good stuff and we're pretty happy with anything rosemary! Sounds about right for in front of the fire.

  7. Another great looking soup! I have been making a lot of soups lately as well. Lamb and rosemary are a great combo for a soup.

  8. Kalyn, I just found your blog about a week ago and I'm SO glad that I did. I started South Beach last Monday and I had no idea what to cook for phase one. Your recipes are AMAZING! I just started a blog myself and I put a link to your page there. Thanks again for your awesome recipes!

  9. Looks amazing! AND, I wanted to let you know that I made your egg muffin recipe last night and absolutely loved it! I made them with spinach and onion and freshly grated parmesan cheese, and they were delicious! Definitely going to be one of my regular recipes!

  10. I had no idea all those facts about rosemary. Very informative!

  11. I love the way you changed your header!

    This soup looks soooooo good. I'm going to go to the store tomorrow to buy all of the ingredients.

    Thanks again for always posting such delicious SBD friendly recipes. I owe much of my weight loss to you and this site.

  12. Pam, hope you like it.

    Tanna, in the 70's. Waaaah. It's in the teens here.

    Kevin, you're always making yummy looking soups!

    Nicole, thanks, and thanks for the link.

    Katy, your muffins look amazing!

    Columbus Foodie, thanks. It's fun researching it.

    Bella, that's my talented brother Rand who does the headers. Thanks for letting me know the recipes are helping you lose weight. Comments like that just make my day!

  13. Nothing like a warm bowl of soup to take the chill out of your bones!!

  14. Rosemary is still growing in my garden, it pairs perfect with lamb.

    Ulrike from

  15. I'm planning to make a few of your soups this weekend, and I want to freeze them in lunch sized portions to grab and take to work. Do you have tips on freezing in smaller portions?

  16. Lynn, I freeze nearly every soup I make. I think the only thing that's important is to use a container with a tight fitting lid. As long as you do that, they are great for several months in the freezer.


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