You can vary the vegetables and pulses according to what you have in your fridge or larder / Jason Lowe
Serves 4

Long, slow cooking not only suits mutton, it also gives you a delicious stock to make this broth. You can vary the vegetables and pulses here, according to what you have in your fridge and larder – perhaps adding yellow or green split peas, maple peas, celeriac or any other root vegetable. Even a few cabbage leaves at the end would add colour and texture.

200g neck of mutton fillet
1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 litres fresh lamb or chicken stock (or 2 good quality stock cubes dissolved in this amount of hot water)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
30g pearl barley
1 medium carrot
1 medium parsnip
100–120g swede
1 small turnip
1tbsp chopped parsley

Cut the mutton roughly into 1cm dice and put into a large heavy-based pan with the thyme leaves and onion. Pour on the stock to cover and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer very gently for about an hour until the mutton is tender.

In the meantime, soak the pearl barley in enough cold water to cover for an hour. Peel all the root vegetables and cut into rough 1/2 cm cubes. Drain the pearl barley and add to the broth with the vegetables. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Add the chopped parsley and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then ladle into warm soup plates and serve.

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