Hearty lamb & barley soup

Hearty lamb & barley soup

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(37 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 1 year old; between 1 and 2 years old you will find it sold as…

  • 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 1 year old; between 1 and 2 years old you will find it sold as…

  • 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, questions and tips

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2nd Nov, 2012
delicious, even enjoyed by fussy 6 year old granddaughter.
6th Mar, 2012
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
14th Dec, 2011
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!
30th Nov, 2011
Fantastic recipe, i dont like green beans so replaced with 600g of tinned butter beans...delicious.
11th Nov, 2011
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.
30th Aug, 2011
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.
23rd Apr, 2011
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.
28th Dec, 2010
My family absolutely love this dish, a real hearty meal.
23rd Nov, 2010
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.
26th Feb, 2019
Agree about the barley,first time I cooked this dish it took ages second time I noticed I had bought a quick cook barley ( Tesco) that took 10 mins,the other one had a cook time of 50 minutes !!


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