This is a substantial soup which doesn’t need any bread to accompany it. In fact, the best accompaniment is a tot of good single malt such as Glenmorange.
You will need:
A large pan – big enough to hold all the ingredients.
2lbs Lamb bones – or neck of lamb 4 pints of water
3 oz pearl barley (or 6 tablespoons) OR, risotto rice (or lentils if you really must)
Place the lamb bones into the saucepan, pour on the water and bring to the boil. If there’s a scum on the surface after it has been boiling for a few minutes, scoop it off and discard. Add the Pearl Barley (or the washed lentils, if you must) and leave to simmer for about an hour. If you are going to use risotto rice, add this with the vegetables later.
You can do your vegetable prep now.
These ingredients need to be peeled (if they need peeling) and chopped into fairly small pieces:
2 sticks of celery – de-stringed
2 large carrots
2 small leeks (or one large one)
A small swede or half a large one
1 large onion (or two small ones)
2 rashers of bacon – can be smoked or un-smoked, the choice is yours - also chopped into small pieces.
A sprinkling of mixed herbs
Salt and white pepper to taste.
After the bones have been simmering for an hour, add all the other ingredients and cook for a further 20-30 minutes. If you are using risotto rice, add it with the vegetables.
When the vegetables are cooked, remove the bones and discard. If you have used neck of lamb, you can strip off the meat, chop it finely and put it back into the broth.
Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if you need to.
And that’s all there is to it.