Growing up in New England it was April Showers that would send my sisters and I into the kitchen for warmth, where my mom would make a spring soup or stew. Here in southern California we have June Gloom, when the marine layer – aka fog from the ocean – coats the sky like wet wool and makes Angeleans shiver like they were Minnesotans in subzero temperatures. Living four blocks from the ocean, I see my share of June Gloom prior to June. Here it was mid-May and I needed something to warm my bones. And bones were just the ticket!
I had some leftover bones from grilling lamb chops for mother’s day and they made a great stock after boiling for 60 minutes. An added bonus was the smoky scent of the grilled chops that worked its way into the stock as well!
Lamb and Barley Soup
6 cups lamb stock (DIY: boil 8 cups water with lamb chop bones for 60 minutes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 shallot, minced
1 carrot, diced
1 small fennel bulb, diced
1 cup cubed lamb, cooked
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup barley
1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)
Heat olive oil in large sauce pan and add onion and shallot and cook 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add fennel and carrots and cook 4-5 minutes until soft. Add stock and bay leaf and bring to boil. Add thyme, lamb and barley and return to boil. Cover and turn down to medium and cook 20-25 minutes until barley is cooked. Season with salt and pepper and remove bay leaves before serving.
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