Shurpa Soup Recipe brings together tender lamb, hearty root vegetables, and amazing flavor. This Uzbek Lamb Soup with Vegetables is great to cozy up to during the cold months but light enough to nourish and satisfy you year-round!
Soups have this amazing ability to bring comfort, warmth, and nourishment to the table, and Shurpa is no exception.
This Uzbek lamb soup with vegetables is a true gem - featuring a light and brothy consistency that makes it perfect for any time of the year.
What is Shurpa?
Shurpa soup is a traditional soup that originates from Central Asia, particularly the regions of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. But you will also find different variations of it in Middle Eastern countries.
It has been a part of the culinary traditions in these countries for centuries, and I learned this particular recipe when I married my husband.
Shurpa typically consists of a rich broth made with generous pieces of lamb and an assortment of vegetables, like potatoes, carrots, parsnip root, onions, bell pepper, and sometimes tomatoes. It is seasoned with fragrant herbs and spices based on regional preferences.
Shurpa soup is known for its rich flavors, nourishing qualities, and ability to warm and comfort during cold winters in Central Asia.
But you know what? Shurpa soup is not just for the winter—it's a versatile comfort food that can be enjoyed all year round!
One of the things that sets shurpa apart is its light and brothy consistency, making it a great choice even during the warmer months.
Unlike thick soup and hearty stews like chicken wild rice soup, this lamb soup recipe boasts a delightful, light broth that's perfect any time of the year.
So, I hope you can savor the flavors of shurpa even when the weather is warm—it's a refreshing and satisfying option you can enjoy throughout the seasons.
💭Fun Fact: Serving shurpa was considered a symbol of hospitality and generosity in Central Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. So you are not only savoring a delicious dish but also connecting with a rich cultural tradition.
Why you'll love this recipe
Easy to make - Made in one pot on the stove top, shurpa soup recipe is known for its simplicity in preparation. There's no mirepoix here - just basic goodness! With minimal effort, you can have a delicious and satisfying meal.
Uses lamb for versatility - Lamb offers a unique and rich flavor that pairs wonderfully with humble root vegetables and fresh herbs. It adds depth and complexity to the soup, allowing you to go easy on the spices. Plus, it's always good to vary the proteins in your nourished diet.
Basic ingredients - Don't underestimate the power of basic, staple ingredients. As flavorful as shurpa is, it's impressive that there are no obscure ingredients - just common spices consisting of salt, pepper, and bay leaves. This gives lamb and vegetables a chance to shine!
True comfort food - Its warm and comforting qualities make it a perfect choice for cozy nights, and the flavorful light broth creates a nourishing meal any time of the year. Besides, I've never met anyone who doesn't like the classic combination of meat and potatoes.
Learn how to make shurpa soup with 6 basic ingredients plus spices. This easy recipe comes together easily in one pot.
- Lamb: I prefer a boneless lamb leg for ease and convenience. Lamb brings a rich and savory flavor to shurpa soup.
- Vegetables: A medley of russet potatoes, carrots, and onions contributes to flavor and texture, providing a satisfying bite and natural sweetness to balance the savory elements of the soup.
- Seasonings: Sea salt, black pepper, and bay leaves are enough to flavor the soup without overpowering it.
- Fresh parsley: Don't skip this - add it at the end of cooking to brighten up the flavors and add a vibrant pop of color.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
- Try beef - Instead of lamb, use beef to create a different flavor profile. It brings its unique taste.
- Vary vegetables - While traditional shurpa soup includes potatoes, carrots, and onions, add bell peppers, zucchini, or green beans for added color and texture.
- Spice it up - Experiment with different spices to personalize the lamb soup. Add a touch of warmth with ground cumin, coriander, or a touch of turmeric.
- Add grains - Beef it up with a hearty and healthy grain like buckwheat, millet, or quinoa.
The beauty of any soup lies in its adaptability, so get creative and make shurpa your own!
Make it Nutrient Dense
Staying true to the heart of what Prepare and Nourish is all about, there are ways to ensure you get the maximum nutrition in this lamb soup recipe. Even though it's an incredibly simple recipe, you can take purposeful steps to turn this into a nutrient-dense rich soup.
Look for New Zealand or Australian lamb. Lamb from these places tends to come from smaller animals entirely grass-fed on open pastures. (source) Though the flavor may be deeper and gamier, the nutrient content is far superior. Better yet, find a local source and purchase lamb from a farmer.
Skip peeling taters. Potato skins are packed with nutrients so dice them up without peeling them. But, if you don't peel them, use organic potatoes to reduce pesticide exposure and scrun them well.
Consider making lamb bone broth. This lamb soup recipe calls for boneless lamb pieces to keep things simple. But you can use shoulder chops or loin chops with bones and make lamb bone broth. Use the same instant pot method as for chicken bone broth.
Add fragrant spices. Spices like ginger, cumin, and turmeric are known for their nutritional benefits and adding them to this lamb soup is an easy way to increase the health benefits.
Time-saving tip - Make the lamb soup in the Instant Pot for a hands-off meal. See the recipe card for specific instructions.
Money-saving tip - Feel free to use whatever cuts of lamb are available to you and are on sale. If using cuts with bones, such as loin chops or shoulder chops, add 15-20 minutes to the cooking time.
Make-ahead tip - Make the broth and store it in a large jar until ready to add all the veggies.
For a clear broth - Skim the impurities with a slotted spoon during the broth cook time. You can also run the broth through a fine mesh sieve for a super clear broth.
Skim the fat - Make the lamb broth, chill it, then remove the layer of fat that accumulates on the top. It's similar to beef tallow and is excellent for future uses like sauteeing vegetables.
The complete printable recipe is below in the recipe card for your convenience.
The recipe for Uzbek shurpa soup is very straightforward. Start with browning the lamb meat, then add the rest of the ingredients.
Step 1. Sear
Heat a healthy fat over medium heat. Brown the meat in a single layer on all sides. Work in batches if necessary, not to overcrowd.
Step 2. Simmer
Add sea salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves, and pour water over the meat. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and gently simmer until meat is tender.
💭Pro tip: Use a thick-bottom pot like Dutch oven or a heavy 18/10 tri-ply stainless steel pot to allow for proper searing.
Step 3. Prep
Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes, slice carrots, and finely dice the onions.
Step 4. Add
Add the veggies to the lamb meat and broth and stir to combine. Cook until all vegetables are tender.
💭Pro tip: Cut all meat and vegetables into uniform sizes to ensure even cooking.
Helpful Tools & Links
Below are some affiliate links that may be helpful to you as you make this shurpa recipe. You can find some of these items cheaper at your local store, but having a link helps you know what you're looking for.
- Tools: chef knife, cutting board, stainless steel soup pot
- Ingredients: real salt, black pepper, olive oil
- Storage Supplies: wide-mouth mason jars for leftovers, glass snap containers
Traditionally, shurpa was served with a yogurt-type drink like lassi to balance the fattiness of the lamb.
Lamb meat can be rich and flavorful; adding yogurt provides a tangy and slightly acidic element that cuts through the richness.
Be sure to garnish shurpa with fresh parsley. Don't have fresh? Learn how much dried parsley you can substitute for fresh.
We serve shurpa with a yogurt garlic sauce made with homemade or store-bought full-fat yogurt. This yogurt garlic sauce is a simple blend of yogurt, fresh garlic, and black pepper.
You can also add a dollop of sour cream. It's so good with shurpa and adds a creamy element.
Shurpa soup pairing suggestions
- Healthy Stuffed Baked Apples40 Minutes
- Herbal Coffee (caffeine free)20 Minutes
- Easy Peach Cobbler in Skillet50 Minutes
- Starbucks Medicine Ball Recipe (Honey Citrus Mint Tea)10 Minutes
Storage and Reheating Instructions
To store: Leftover shurpa can be stored in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Because lamb is exceptionally fatty, the soup may solidify.
To reheat: Transfer the soup to a small saucepan and reheat over medium heat on stovetop.
To get the best flavor, enjoy shurpa when it's freshly made. However, you can freeze the soup in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Some slight texture changes may occur upon freezing and reheating, but the flavors will remain intact.
The easiest way to reduce active time is to make the lamb broth ahead of time. You may use either the Instant Pot method for boneless lamb or slow cooker method if using lamb bones. Store the lamb bone broth in large mason jars in the fridge until ready to make the soup.
Yes! You can make shurpa in your pressure cooker with slight modifications. The most important difference is to cut the potatoes into larger pieces (I quarter them) to retain the texture. Then, follow the recipe as written and cook on manual for 10 minutes and do a natural pressure release.
Looking for more related recipes? Here are some ideas:
Did you make this? Please leave a ⭐ recipe rating in the recipe card below and leave a review in the comments. Thank you!💚
Shurpa Soup Recipe (Uzbek Lamb Soup)
- Sear: Heat the avocado oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in a single layer and sear it until browned on all sides. Work in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pot.
- Simmer: Pour in the filtered water and boil over high heat. Add salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves, reduce heat to medium, and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Add: Add potatoes, carrots, and onions and cook for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Garnish: Add freshly chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- For proper searing: Use a thick-bottom pot like a Dutch oven or a heavy stainless steel pot to allow for proper searing.
- Cut uniform pieces: Whether lamb, potatoes, carrots or onions - ensure all ingredients are cut into equal size pieces for even cooking.
- For a clear broth: Skim the impurities with a slotted spoon as it cooks. You can also run the broth through a fine mesh sieve for a very clear broth.