Lamb and Barley Big Soup

This, my friends, is a big, snuggly cuddle in a bowl.  It will warm the cockles of your heart and lift your wintry spirits too.

Adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe.


  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • 200g (7oz) lamb fillet, trimmed of any fat and cut into small pieces
  • ½ large onion, finely chopped
  • 50g (2oz) pearl barley
  • 600g (1lb 5oz) baby new potatoes (the waxy type), cut into chunky slices
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 litre (1¾ pints) lamb or beef stock
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 100g (4oz) green beans, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • a handful of parsley, finely chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Season the lamb, then fry for a few minutes until browned a little. Add the onion and the barley and gently fry for 1 minute.
  2. Now add the potatoes, Worcestershire sauce, stock and thyme sprig and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until the pearl barley is cooked.
  3. Ladle about a quarter of the soup into a separate bowl and purée with a stick blender (or put into a normal blender and blitz until smooth). Add the puréed soup back into the chunky soup and combine.
  4. Now add the green beans and simmer gently for 3-5 minutes or until the beans are cooked.
  5. Taste to check the seasoning and serve garnished with some chopped parsley.

Keywords: soup, cosy, warming, winter