Hearty lamb & barley soup

Hearty lamb & barley soup

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(27 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 25 mins


Serves 4
This Lancashire hotpot in soup form is nourishing and filling, but low in fat

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Dairy-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal258
  • fat11g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs26g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre4g
  • protein17g
  • salt1.48g
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  • 1 tsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 200g lamb neck fillet, trimmed of fat and cut into small pieces



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • ½ large onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 50g pearl barley
  • 600g mixed root vegetable (we used potato, parsnip and swede, cubed)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1¾ pints 1 litre lamb or beef stock



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • 1 thyme sprig


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 100g green bean (frozen are fine), finely chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Season the lamb, then fry for a few mins until browned. Add the onion and barley, then gently fry for 1 min. Add the veg, cook for 2 more mins, then add the Worcestershire sauce, stock and thyme. Cover, then simmer for 20 mins.

  2. When everything is cooked, spoon about a quarter of the soup into a separate pan. Purée with a stick blender (or put into a normal blender and whizz), then stir it back into the rest of the soup. Add the green beans, simmer for 3 mins, then ladle the soup into bowls and serve with granary bread.

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Comments (30)

laurabeane's picture

I made this for my week's worth of lunches and after two days I'm happy to say I'm still really enjoying it.

After reading a few of the comments I blitzed half the mixture which gave me a very thick stew, although has been lovely in the cold weather and tastes fab. I used a 500g packet of swede & carrot and then a parsnip too, so my veg was probably over what was required. I also switched the sprig of thyme for half a teaspoon of dried thyme. Unlike some of the others I found the pear barley cooked within the time.

I made this because I got reduced lambs neck in the supermarket, but I've enjoyed it so much I'll make it again.

allielovetocook's picture

Had never used neck fillet before but will definitely use again - it is beautifully soft when preparing and tasty to eat. Followed this recipe to the letter and it was delicious!!

rachaelamanda's picture

My "go to" winter dish. Even my kids like it

sarahb07's picture

has anyone made in a slow cooker ?

lauramilne's picture

Lovely dish see the tips section for my full review!

judiwilliams's picture

And my rating is 5 stars!

judiwilliams's picture

I've made this twice now. First time I made it just as the recipe says and it was amazing. Today I made it with a bag of fresh diced sweet potato and butter nut squash from M&S. Saved time on the preparation and the reult was just as amazing. The whole family love it and I'll be using this recipe regularly.

claupatra's picture

Perfect winter soup!

juliesingo's picture

Just made this for tonight's tea it tastes Delish...didn't blitz and left out green beans will serve with fresh crusty bread defo a favourite :))

hanly210's picture

delicious, even enjoyed by fussy 6 year old granddaughter.

spacemonkey19's picture

I made this soup for the first time a couple of months ago and it tasted amazing! I used a mixture of carrots, swede and potato for my veg, and I also added 300g of lamb instead of 200g (I love lamb!). It is definitely more of a stew than a soup. I froze the leftovers and it defrosted/reheated very well. I'm off to make it again for our dinner tonight!

glennsharpe's picture

I've now made this 3 times and its a really good meal that will fill the gap. I'm new to cooking and to be honest I burnt the first one as I didn't stir it enough so make sure you stir it a fair amount or the pearl barley can stick to the bottom, especially at the last stage where you blend a quarter of it up and add the green beans. I found that it is best to cook the beans separately and add cooked but continue to cook in the stew for the stated 3 minutes.
I also tried with stewing lamb but as the cooking time isn't that long the meat came out tough so stick to the lamb neck fillet.

Other than that i'm looking forward to making it again!

ralavendrel's picture

Fantastic recipe, i dont like green beans so replaced with 600g of tinned butter beans...delicious.

vickiloulou's picture

I doubled up on the ingredients and it fed 5 of us plus a spare bowl for Grandpa. A lovely winter soup packed with goodness. Easy to make too.

emmclean's picture

Delicious! I was worried about the cost of a meat like lamb in what I needed to be a cheap meal, but there was more than enough and it only cost a few pounds.

wendyr0239's picture

This is a great and economical recipe, making a little lamb go a long way. However, I have found that it is better to cook the pearl barley for 10-15 minutes in a separate pan prior to adding it to the soup otherwise it is just too firm/undercooked based on the timings stated above. I'm also not too fond of swede so tend to just do extra of the potatoes, carrots & parsnip or add some peeled and diced celeriac. I normally serve this with good chunks of wholemeal bread.

philsheridan's picture

My family absolutely love this dish, a real hearty meal.

dancingbunny's picture

I too found that the barley needed a bit longer than stated. This was really nice the next day as leftovers, more stewy and tender. Very filling as well, served with brown bread and butter.

dawnbillsmith's picture

easy to do, very tasty and surprisingly tender for short cooking time. did not blitz but served it as a stew. will do again

milkyjohn's picture

Really fantastic. Have only tried it once,but, I most certainly will be doing it again. Only problem was I didn't do enough of it.


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Tips (1)

lauramilne's picture

I prepared this recipe this morning but changed it slightly ....I coated the meat in seasoned flour and cooked in oil, transferred to my slow cooker with the veg. I then cooked my onions in the same meat pan & de-glazed the pan with a little stock & again transferred to the slow cooker with the rest of the other ingredients. It's been cooking all day on high & smelling lush! When I checked it at 4 pm the liquid was still loose so I ladled 3/4 of it into a saucepan and boiled it reducing by over half & poured back in. I now have the most thick rich gravy for our stew. This is a lovely recipe & will definitely be a firm favourite throughout the colder months!