8 September 2010
Suffice to say, that this soup was a considerable experiment which worked brilliantly!
I adapted the recipe from a Readers' Digest tome - "Farmhouse Cookery - recipes from the country kitchen". I will add that I didn't take 3-4 hours to make mine, as I didn't use a kilo of scrag end of neck! *chuckle*
(In truth, apart from the lamb, pearl barley and onions, I bet you could make this with any vegetables you have to hand. However, I followed the recipe as closely as I was able - so here it is.)
500g lamb mince (you could easily use casserole lamb, just cook the lamb with the onions and stock for around 1hr or until it is fairly tender, before adding the vegetables. I used mince, as one member of my family is fat-phobic).
1 litre lamb stock
125g pearl barley
125g peas (the recipe recommends dried peas, soaked overnight. I used frozen.)
Salt & pepper
1 large leek, cleaned and sliced
1 small potato, peeled and diced
1 onion, finely chopped
A half a medium Swede, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
125g cabbage, finely shredded
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Cornflour, as necessary.
1. Dry fry the mince until starting to frizzle and caramelise, drain the fat, remove and set aside.
2. Fry the onion in a little of the lamb fat, until softened.
3. Re-introduce the mince, then add the stock, barley, bouquet garni, leek, swede and carrots and simmer for as long as it takes for the vegetables and barley to be cooked. (10+ minutes, for the barley). Skim off any fat that rises to the surface.
4. Add the cabbage and peas, adjust seasoning (I found it needed quite a lot of salt and pepper) and continue to simmer until the cabbage is cooked.
5. Thicken with cornflour.
6. Garnish with parsley.
Serve with crusty bread and a lot of time to eat it in. You can't hurry the eating of this soup and it would be perfect for bonfire night when you're outdoors and need something hearty and warming.
Son's review is : "It was all good, except for the pearl barley". But then, this was his first go at Pearl Barley!