There’s nothing like a big bowl of homemade soup to keep you warm during those winter months. The assorted rainbow of vegetables means it's packed with fibre, nutrients, vitamins and minerals while the goodness of wholegrain barley will keep you feeling full and satisfied. Best of all, it’s SO easy to make. In need of some soupy inspo? Check out this latest recipe from our food blogger, Laura Ford...
Vegetable based soups (like this one) are a fantastic nutrient dense option to eat when the weather gets cold. They’re a great way to increase your fluid and vegetable intake and can also be relatively low in energy. You can easily make this soup vegetarian by substituting the lamb for some tinned beans. Just add the drained beans in with the barley and you’re good to go!
1 tbsp Australian extra virgin olive oil 600g lamb neck or lamb osso bucco, bone in cut into pieces (approximately 5-6 pieces) 1 red onion, roughly chopped 3 garlic cloves, chopped 2 tbsp tomato paste 1 carrot, chopped 1 stick of celery, chopped 1 zucchini, chopped 1 swede, chopped 300g (approximately half) sweet potato, chopped 1⁄2 a head of cauliflower, cut into large pieces 1 small head of broccoli, cut into large pieces 2 sprigs fresh rosemary 8-10 springs fresh thyme 2 bay leaves 4 cups water* (Reserve 2 of these cups for when you add the barley) 1 cup salt reduced chicken stock 1⁄2 cup barley 2 tbsp Wostershire sauce Salt and pepper to taste 1 small birds-eye chilli chopped (optional)
1. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a high heat. Add lamb and brown until golden brown on each side. Remove from the pan, reserving the oil in the pan.
2. Add onions to the same saucepan and cook on medium heat for 5-8 minutes until softened and slightly golden. Add garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the browned meat, carrot, celery, zucchini, swede, sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, stock and 2 cups of water into the saucepan and bring to the boil.
4. Once the soup has boiled, turn down to low heat and simmer on low heat for 11⁄2 hours. If you can’t fit all the water in your pan at this stage, you can always add more after the barley is added or whenever the water gets low.
5. Add barley and the remaining 2 cups of water and cook on a low heat for approximately 1 hour until barley is tender and the meat is falling off the bone. You may want to add more water to make the soup more loose and liquidy.
6. Remove meat from the soup and tear off the bones. Discard bones and return meat to the pan to heat through. Add Wostershire sauce and season with salt, pepper and chilli (if using) to taste.
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