- 1 breast of lamb or mutton
- 1 neck of lamb or mutton
- 2 large carrots
- 2 large leeks
- 2 potatoes
- 1 small swede or 2 turnips
- 2 ribs of celery
- 1 peeled onion spiked by 3 cloves
- 2 heaped tablespoons of pearl barley
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
- Freshly ground white pepper
Remove as much of the fat as possible from the meat and cut the neck into four thick slices and cut the breast into pieces to fit in the pot.
Put into a large pot and add just enough water to cover the meat together with the bay leaves, thyme and two teaspoons of salt, bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 1 hours, skimming from time to time.
This may also be done in a low oven.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables and cut them all, except the onion, into roughly 1cm (in) dice.
Once the meat has been slowly cooked for 1 hours, add all the diced vegetables plus the onion and pearl barley and simmer for a further 25 minutes or so, until the barley has fully swelled.
You may need to add a little more seasoning.
Let the broth cool enough to handle.
Lift out the pieces of meat with your hands and remove every scrap of meat and sinew; it should come away in small manageable, soup-sized pieces.
Discard all the bones and the onion and put the meat back into the broth.
If you have time, leave the soup overnight in the fridge and the next day carefully remove the fat from the surface.
If you feel the soup looks too thin, just boil down further, taste for seasoning and sprinkle lavishly with finely chopped parsley before serving.