Ethiopian Grand Lamb and Vegetable Soup 

click to enlarge Ethiopian Grand Lamb and Vegetable Soup - BRIENNE BOORTZ
  • Brienne Boortz
  • Ethiopian Grand Lamb and Vegetable Soup


½ lb. (up to 1 lb.) boneless lamb, trimmed to reasonable size

½ tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cardamom

1 tsp. cumin

1 onion

cubed veggies of your choosing, such as carrots, leeks, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes

½ c. olive oil (can substitute ghee)

½ tsp. black pepper

¼ cinnamon stick

2 whole cloves, ground

¼ c. cilantro

½ tsp. turmeric

salt to taste

4 c. water (or lamb broth)


Trim the meat into small pieces and mix with the ginger and a ½ tsp. each of cardamom and cumin. Leave it for at least 3 hours, or overnight if you will be cooking the next day.

Chop the onion and cube the vegetables of your choosing. Brown the lamb meat in olive oil or ghee, remove, and put aside.

Use the same oil or ghee to cook the onion until it's soft and light gold. Add to it the lamb and stir for about 5 minutes, then add the veggies and continue to stir for another 5 minutes.

Add the remaining cumin and cardamom with pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cilantro, turmeric and salt, and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Then add 4 cups of water (or lamb broth if you have it), and cover it. Let boil for about 5 minutes, then reduce heat to the lowest and let cook for 30 to 40 minutes until meat and veggies are tender. When stirring, be careful not to break the veggies. Serves 3 to 4.


Back in my family home in Ethiopia, we'd eat this comforting and mouth-watering soup with Harar bread that my grand mama and my mama used to make in the family oven. The oven was built in the ground, and the bread was cooked against the wall of it.

I am sorry that we can't build this kind of oven here in Colorado Springs. (Maybe I should ask for a permit to build one, and let people enjoy the healthy and wonderful bread of my childhood.) But without Harar bread, you can use any multigrain, wheat or gluten-free bread with this soup. Enjoy it with your family and friends!

— Submitted by Uchenna owner/chef Maya Hetman


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