Hearty Winter Warmer – Root Vegetable and Lamb Soup
Winter is approaching and it might be time to start thinking about hearty winter soups to keep you warm this winter. Some of the tastiest can be prepared with root vegetables and a good stock. Homemade vegetable stock can be made from things you would normally throw away, carrot parings, bottoms and tops, onion skin which gives a good tan or brown color, stalks from broccoli, and the leaves from cage, turnips or other vegetables. If you also add a whole onion stuck top and bottom with a few cloves, a bay leaf and some mixed herbs along with black peppercorns, you have a good vegetable stock to use in soups. Use a liter of water and cook the stock for 45 minutes or so. It does not cost much as most of the ingredients would normally be thrown away, and is better for you than using a stock cube with preservatives in it.
Personally I like root vegetables in a stew or soup and love pearl barley, which, while not being as nutritious as whole grain barley is easier to cook. You could use oats or whole grains instead, of course, but this recipe is a simple winter one that I hope you enjoy.
You can use potatoes and all or some of the vegetables suggested in the list of ingredients, you decide.
You can use a cheap cut of neck of lamb for this recipe with the bones, but trim the fat from the meat. Alternately use 200 grams of fillet of neck of lamb and trim it of all fat.
Hearty Winter Soup
400 gr neck of lamb, cut into pieces that you can get on a spoon
600 gr of any of the following: – swede, turnip, parsnips and carrots, celeriac
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 sticks of celery left whole
1 bay leaf torn but intact
2 tsps dried mixed herbs or a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 liter vegetable stock or chicken stock
12 whole black peppercorns
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika pepper
100 gr green beans, cut into 1 or 2 inch pieces (frozen is fine)
Fry the onion, garlic and the neck of lamb pieces in the olive oil until the neck pieces are 'sealed' and the onion is translucent.
Transfer these ingredients to a large pot and add all the other ingredients except for the green beans.
Bring the liquid to the boil and stir well before turning the heat down to a simmer.
Simmer and stir occasionally for 45 minutes then add the green beans, stir in to the soup and cook for a further 15 mins.
Remove the pan from the heat, discard the celery stalks and serve the soup piping hot with plenty of fresh crusty wholemeal bread.