Spring Lamb and Fava Bean Soup

In a sea of slow cooker soup recipes, this soup makes a great comfort food staple - that isn't chicken noodle. Mediterranean ingredients like juicy lamb, leeks and fava beans fill the dish with flavor.

Spring Lamb and Fava Bean Soup
Photo: Jason Donnelly
Prep Time:
20 mins
Slow Cook Time:
8 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
10 cups


  • 1 pound boneless lamb shoulder or beef chuck, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 4 cup Homemade Beef Bone Broth

  • 1 ½ cup water

  • 8 ounce morel, oyster, or cremini mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 8.8 ounce package peeled and steamed fava beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 1/2 cups frozen fava beans, thawed

  • 1 cup sliced carrots

  • 2 medium leeks, sliced

  • cup regular pearled barley

  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary

  • 1 cup fresh English peas, shelled, or frozen peas, thawed

  • Salt and black pepper

Lemon Gremolata

  • ¼ cup snipped fresh Italian parsley

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Homemade Beef Bone Broth

  • 1 ½ pound beef soup bones (knuckle, neck, or marrow bones)

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 medium carrots, cut up

  • 2 medium onions, unpeeled and cut up

  • 3 stalks celery with leaves, cut up

  • 1 tablespoon dried basil or thyme, crushed

  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt

  • 10 whole black peppercorns

  • 8 sprigs fresh parsley

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled and halved

  • 8 ½ cup cold water

  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar


  1. In a large skillet cook lamb in hot oil over medium heat until browned; drain off fat.

  2. In a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker combine lamb and the next nine ingredients (through rosemary).

  3. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Stir in peas. Cook for 15 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top servings with Lemon Gremolata.

Lemon Gremolata

  1. In a small bowl combine parsley, lemon zest, and garlic.

Homemade Beef Bone Broth

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place soup bones in a large shallow roasting pan. Roast about 45 minutes or until browned, turning once. Place soup bones in a 6-quarter slow cooker. Pour the 1 cup water into roasting pan and scrape up browned bits; add water mixture to slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low 10 to 12 hours.

  2. Remove soup bones from broth. Scoop out as many vegetables as you can with a slotted spoon. Strain broth through four layers of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth placed in a colander. Discard vegetables and seasonings.

  3. If using the broth while hot, skim fat. Or chill broth in a bowl at least 6 hours; lift off fat with a spoon. Place broth in airtight containers. Cover and chill up to 3 days or freeze up to 6 months.

  4. If desired, when bones are cool enough to handle, remove meat. Chop meat; discard bones. Place meat in airtight container for another use. Cover and chill up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

206 Calories
6g Fat
20g Carbs
19g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 206
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 42mg 14%
Sodium 314mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 26.5mg 132%
Calcium 64mg 5%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 483mg 10%
Folate, total 55.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 1.8mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.3mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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