This is a wonderful soup for winter nights – the sweetness of the lamb combined with the goodness of the barley and vegetables makes it an excellent family supper or lunch dish when served with crusty bread and a green salad.
- Prep Time : 15-20 minutes
- Cook Time : 2h 00 min
- Yield : 6
- lamb neck or forequarter chops - 1.25Kg, trimmed of all fat
- water - 2 litres
- salt - 1 -2 teaspoons
- pearl barley - 1/2 cup
- onions - 2, peeled and chopped
- carrots - 2, peeled and chopped
- garlic - 3 -4 cloves, finely chopped
- celery - 2 stalks, chopped
- parsnip - 1, peeled and chopped (optional)
- fresh flat leaf parsley - 1/2 bunch, chopped
- lemon - 1, zest only
- freshly cracked pepper - optional
Put the lamb and water into a large saucepan or pot. Bring gently to the boil, turn down heat and simmer for an hour. Remove any scum that comes to the top with a slotted spoon.
Add remaining ingredients except parsley and lemon. Simmer for another 2 – 3 hours or until meat is tender. Remove meat from pot and discard bones. Place in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
Skim fat from top of soup – this is an important step to ensure the soup isn’t fatty.
Chop lamb into bite-size pieces. Discard bones. Return lamb to soup and re-heat. Taste for seasoning and serve with plenty of freshly chopped parsley mixed with the zest of one lemon and some cracked black pepper.
Tip: add more pearl barley if you like a really thick soup, or more water for a thinner soup.