This recipe is our favourite meal in a bowl soup. This recipe calls for 500g (1.1lb) of diced lamb. You can pick a half leg of lamb up from supermarkets at the moment for £8.50 per kilogram and dice your own if they don’t sell it diced. The long, slow cooking of this recipe means that you don’t need to but lean cuts, in fact quite the opposite is needed. Even better, support your local butcher and buy from them.
This serves 4 decent size portions and currently works out at £1.38 a portion. It’s a little on the expensive side but does very well as a main meal served with a chunk of homemade bread.
500g diced lamb £4.25
2 leeks, sliced and washed (apx 500g) 95p
2 decent size carrots, chopped in to coins 5p
1 large onion, roughly diced 5p
55g pearl barley, rinsed 5p
1 litre stock (lamb or whatever you have to hand) 20p
Herbs such as a bay leaf, fresh parsley – or mixed herbs
Salt and Pepper
Using your preferred oil, brown the diced lamb over a high heat for 5-8 minutes.
Add diced onions, sliced leeks and chopped carrots and cook for a few minutes.
Add pearly barley and stir through before adding the stock. Ideally homemade stock but whatever you have to hand will work well. This will thicken.
Pop in the herbs salt and pepper to your preference.
Cook low and slow for up to 12 hours. You can do this in a slow cooker, in which case you can throw it in and go, omitting the browning of the meat stage. I cook mine in the Aga on the hot plate whilst preparing and then in the simmering oven overnight, usually for 10-12 hours.
When it’s done, give it a stir through and taste to check the seasoning. It’s beautiful!
I make this soup in my Instant Pot purely because that’s how I did it the first time and it was SO nice that I didn’t want to risk doing it any other way. It is delicious and a very hearty meal for any time of the year as you can chop and change the vegetables to match the seasons. Great for that glut of courgettes, or any other veg you’d like to substitute!
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped (I missed this out on this one as I didn’t have any – I replaced with celery salt)
1 medium courgette
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tin of chopped toms
2 pints stock (I used ham stock from slow cooker gammon joint which makes all the difference)
1 tin cannellini beans, drained
1/4 cabbage or a bag of baby spinach
100g spaghetti, broken or any other small pasta shapes
Chop your onion and fry off in oil/low fat spray, whatever you use for 3-5 minutes either in a large pan or sauté if using an Instant Pot.
Add the chopped carrots, courgette and celery if you are using.
Pop in tomato purée and tinned tomatoes, giving it all a good stir.
Season with salt and pepper and add the stock, tinned beans and spaghetti.
Stir in the cabbage or spinach, you could add peas or beans too.
Bring to the boil and simmer until the pasta is tender or if using an Instant Pot select manual for 7-10 minutes depending on how thick your veg and pasta is.
This won’t freeze well with pasta, omit until ready to eat if freezing.