It’s the first day of winter, and it’s been chilly! Today it’s been a bit rainy and overcast in Sydney, and it really feels like winter, so we need a good winter warmer for dinner. I grew up with the world’s best soup cook. Mum’s soups are the thing of legend. They’re nothing fancy, she’ll be winning no Michelin stars, but they are good, wholesome, tasty and heart warming. I learnt from the best.
Soups are the best way to empty the vegetable crisper, or to use up all those home grown vegetables. You can make a soup out of anything, add some stock, maybe some meat and there you have a fantastic and easy winter meal. Tonight we’ll be having lamb, barley and vegetable soup with crusty bread rolls. Here’s my recipe if you want to try… though bear in mind that I am a very instinctual cook, and many of these quantities and times may be wild guesstimates, just do it for the love if you’re game.
2 lamb forequarter, chops
1 medium onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
half a cup of barley (prepare it in accordance with the instructions on the packet. I’m either forgetful or lazy so I always end up doing the quick boil it up method)
2 carrots, chopped
half a butternut pumpkin, chopped
1 x tin of tomatoes
1 x carton of beef stock
Brown chops and onion (OK, so you’d better add oil to the ingredients list).
Add stock, the equal amount of water, barley and all the veges (including the tomatoes) and bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and simmer until meat and veges are cooked (about an hour?). If the liquid level gets a little low, just add a bit more.
Remove the meat from the bone and chop or break up into small pieces and return to the soup. Season to taste.
Eat and enjoy – the most important bit!