Around the world in 80 dishes No. 38: Irish barley broth

Ingredients to serve 4

A few glugs of olive oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
200g leftover lamb, cut into chunky cubes
Bone from leg of lamb (optional)
2 large carrots, peeled and cubed
350g root vegetables (swede, parsnips, celeriac and/or Jerusalem artichokes), peeled and cubed
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large sprigs of thyme
6 tablespoons pearl or pot barley
1 tablespoons cider vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
2 handfuls of parsley, chervil, kale or any other green you can finely chop and add for a healthy kick of colour


This is a great way to use up the last of the meat and bone from a leg of lamb. It requires slow cooking but this draws out all the flavour and nutrition from the lamb bone to make a truly delicious broth.

The recipes in my new book are all about how we can cut down on meat, without cutting it out altogether, for environmental and health reasons, and still enjoy real foods. It's also about increasing our intake of fruit and vegetables. A portion of this broth will provide two-and-a-half of your daily portions of fruit and vegetables.

Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is warm, add the onions and cook until golden. Add the lamb, the lamb bone, if using, and the carrots. Cook until the carrots have started to soften, about 8 minutes or so. Add the other root veg and the garlic and let them sweat down a bit.

Add a splash of olive oil, if needed. Once the root veg have softened, add the thyme and barley. Let the barley toast for a moment. Add a good grinding of pepper.

Pour in enough water to just cover everything. Pop a lid on and let it bubble away over low heat for 1 hour.

Once it's cooked, stir through the vinegar or Worcestershire sauce. Taste and add a pinch of salt, if needed. Chop the herbs or greenery. Chuck them into the pot but don't stir them in. Spoon the soup into bowls, ensuring each person gets a good portion of greens on top.

Taken from 'Less Meat, More Veg' by Rachel de Thample (Kyle Cathie, £16.99).

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