Traditional Lamb Shank Soup

My next contribution to Soup Week is a delicious Lamb Shank soup. My Nan served this soup up for Sunday Lunch when I last visited, and I enjoyed it so much that I asked for the recipe. Nanny tells me that this is one of her mother's recipes, and it makes me feel all warm inside to think that I'm enjoying this dish so many years after my great-grandmother first prepared it. It's traditional and delicious, perfect winter fare.

What You Will Need:
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large sticks of celery
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large or two small zucchini
  • Any other vegetables you'd like to add to your soup (I included a tin of diced tomatoes in the soup pictured above)
  • 1 cup of pearl barley
  • 3 or 4 lamb shanks depending on how far you'd like your soup to stretch (I'd suggest four if you're feeding four or more people, especially if the shanks themselves are small)
  • Approximately 1.5 litres of vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup of fresh parsley, and any other herbs you might like to add to your broth
  • Salt, pepper and parmesan cheese to taste
What You Will Need To Do:

1. Dice all the vegetables, brown them slightly in a little olive oil, then pour over the vegetable stock (and tinned tomatoes if you're using them) Bring the lot to the boil.

2. Add the lamb shanks, pearl barley, bay leaf and any other dry herbs to the soup mix. Turn the heat down so your soup is simmering gently. You may need to add more stock to the soup here, depending on how much liquid the pearl barley absorbs as it cooks.

3. Simmer your soup until the lamb begins to fall from the bone. Remove the lamb shanks and roughly carve up the meat, then add back to the soup along with your chopped parsley. Serve hot with a little pepper and parmesan cheese on top.

This is the first ever meat recipe to appear on our little blog, I'm clearly not a vegetarian but I try to eat ethically, and I buy my meat from rare breed and organic butchers who source their produce from smaller farms that aim to minimise their impact on the environment. If you're a fellow inner-city Melburnian who is looking to support ethical farming, I'd suggest shopping at The Queen Victoria Markets in town, as a few of their butchers sell rare breed and organic meats from smaller, local producers. In addition, the Rare Breeds Trust of Australia is a useful resource if you're concerned with buying ethically sourced meat, and they support the lovely Collingwood Children's Farm, a worthy project operating out of Melbourne, and a gorgeous spot to enjoy breakfast too.

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