Recipe: Tomato Fennel Yakhni Shorba {Soup}

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Be it bone broth, stews, or pho - warm liquids that are packed with nutrient goodness can do wonders for the winter blues. We love soups in our home, and this one is a particular favorite, when we want just a little bit of meaty flavor in the soup. This one, you will want to sip for hours. 


Yakhni is a simple, all-season preparation in North India and may be prepared with or without lamb stock, lamb pieces or lamb bone pieces. 


Makes: Twelve 4-oz servings; 45 calories ea.

Diet: Vegan adaptable
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes



1 tbsp ghee
1 Indian bay leaf
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs vine-ripened tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
4 oz lamb shoulder meat chunks (optional)
Handful of fresh fennel fronds, finely chopped
2-3 tsp freshly cracked black peppercorns
1 tsp sugar
Salt, to taste
Splash of cream (optional)



Wash and blanch the tomatoes in a large pot of boiling water. Remove the skin. Puree the tomatoes until they are a fine paste; set aside. If using lamb, simmer 4 ounces of lamb shoulder meat chunks in the vegetable broth for 20-30 minutes on a low boil. Allow to cool. Remove the meat chunks and use the stock for the soup.



Warm the ghee in a large stockpot, add the bay leaf and let it release its flavors into the ghee. Remove the bay leaf when it starts to darken in color; set aside. Increase the heat and add the chopped onions; let the onions soften. Add the garlic and let it cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the pureed tomatoes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the fennel fronds and return the bay leaf to the pot, stir in, cover, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. In the last 2 minutes of cooking, season with sugar, salt and black pepper. Add a splash of fresh cream just prior to serving. Garnish with any remaining fennel fronds. Enjoy hot.


Pair it with a crusty fresh Italian or Caraway seed bread, a rye bread for additional bite or better yet, a Pumpernickle, slathered with fresh butter, if you have some handy!

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Nandita Godbole

Once a botanist & landscape architect. Now a personal chef & author, an artist, graphic designer, blogger & closeted poet. Loves freshly brewed chai, the crisp salty ocean breeze, watching monsoon rains & walking barefoot through cold mountain streams. Believes in the strength, positivity of the human spirit. Is spiritual but not a fanatic. Mom of one. Two, if she counts her husband.



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