Cook this: Lamb, mushroom & barley soup


I’ll be honest, I found this recipe in a food magazine and I can’t for the life of me remember which one – I have a pile on my coffee table and I just rip out the recipes I like. Anyway, I played around with it a little and made it for dinner last week and it was amazing, especially seeing as I’m not usually a big soup lover! Really tasty, the lamb was so soft and tender, and the barley made it a more substantial meal. The little squeeze of lemon juice and fresh parsley just topped it off. It was also really quick and easy to throw together – you just need to allow enough time for it to simmer away. Best part was that it was pretty cheap, and it made 6 serves, so we’ve got left overs for the week!

Ingredients (to make 6 serves):
– 650g diced lamb
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 50g butter
– 2 brown onions, diced
– 500g button mushrooms, sliced
– 2 carrots, diced
– 5 celery sticks, chopped
– 5 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped and crushed (mortar & pestle works best)
– 5 bay leaves
– 2 tsp smoked paprika
– 2 tsp dried thyme
– salt and pepper
– 2.5lt vegetable stock
– 1 cup barley, rinsed and strained

1. Heat a large pot over medium heat and spray with cooking oil. Cook the lamb until just browned, remove from the pot and set aside.
2. Re-heat the pot with the olive oil and butter, and add the onion and mushroom. Cook, stirring constantly, until softened and browned.
3. Add the carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaves, paprika and thyme, as well as a little salt and pepper – combine and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
4. Return the lamb to the pot, stir it all together, and pour in the vegetable stock and barley. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer. Check your soup after 60 minutes to see how the barley is going; if it’s not quite cooked through, add a little more water if needed and simmer for a little longer. I found mine was done by the 60 minute mark.
5. Divide your soup up into bowls and/or plastic tubs to refrigerate or freeze, and serve with a little squeeze of lemon juice stirred through and some fresh parsley sprinkled on top!

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