Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lamb and Barley Soup

Contributed by Dawn Marie Hamilton

In celebration of Robert Burns' birthday, the famous Scottish poet, I thought I would share this thick and hearty Scottish inspired soup. Soups are wonderful comfort food especially appreciated on chilly winter evenings.

This recipe begins with the preparation of roux, a paste like thickener.


1 pound medium barley
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons flour
43 ounces fat free, sodium reduced, chicken broth
1 pound ground lamb
2 medium carrots, finely diced
1 medium turnip, finely diced
3 stalks celery
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Cook barley according to package directions and set aside.

2. In a large soup pot, sauté onion in oil over medium-high heat until limp. Reduce to low-medium heat and add garlic and flour to make roux, stirring often for about 10 minutes.

3. Add chicken broth to roux and blend, then bring to a boil. Add lamb and cook for about 15 minutes.

4. Add pre-cooked barley, carrots, turnips, celery, milk, basil and pepper and simmer until vegetables are tender.

This recipe freezes well. Add a small amount of chicken broth when reheating to thin soup.


  1. I'm always looking for new soups, and this one looks awfully good, almost like a Scotch Broth. Does it matter if the milk is whole or low fat?

  2. I use whole milk, Pat, but I don't think it would matter too much if you used low-fat because this is a thick soup. The kind that sticks to your ribs.

  3. Just took a chance and was surprised to find straight away, your latest recipe! Sounds like a wonderful hearty soup. Will have to try it out some chilly day!

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Lois. Is it chilly in Florida this year? :) We're hoping it will be warm when we show up. btw: I've read that barley is recommended as a source of soluble fiber and helps reduce cholesterol.