Saturday, 15 February 2014

'Mum's Barley Broth' The Co-operative Electrical Winter Warmer Challenge!

When I was growing up, I don't remember much about what we ate - I probably wasn't interested so long as I got fed (which I must add, I did get fed!). But one meal I do remember was my mum's 'barley broth'. I distinctly remember picking the carrots out of it - I loved the lamb and barley part, just detested the carrots!

But... I'm pleased to say that I now like carrots and so do my children, so this is my entry into the competition. When I was challenged by The Co-operative to write about my favourite winter dish, mum's barley broth immediately came to mind!

Now that winter is upon us, there is one thing in particular that comforts us, year upon year, warming our hearts and making us feel human again: food. Nothing quite compares to a chunky beef stew or a hearty, peppery broth to help you thaw out on a cold winter’s night. Piping hot, substantial and incredibly tasty, winter comfort food provides something of an antidote from the arctic British weather conditions that chill us to the bone.

This recipe is tweaked slightly from how I remember my mum making it - why not try it yourself and let me know what you think? Enjoy!

Mum's Barley Broth - serves 4
400g lamb, diced
200g Barley/lentils/dried soup mix
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, finely diced
1.5 - 2 pints lamb stock
Freshly ground salt and black pepper to season


  1. Season the lamb and fry in a large saucepan in a little oil for 2-3 mins to seal the flavour in.
  2. Add the onion and fry for a further 2 mins.
  3. Add the stock, carrots and barley/lentils/soup mix and bring to the boil. Simmer on a high heat for 20 mins with the lid on and then turn down the heat and simmer over a low heat (lid on) for at least 1 hour. Or you can transfer to a slow cooker and cook gently for 3-4 hours.
  4. Serve with crusty bread* (homemade and warm if possible!)
*We always had this soup with homemade chips, I'm not sure why as it's a slightly strange combination but we enjoy it now with crusty bread!

You adjust the amount of stock to your liking - the amount I use produces a pretty thick soup, so you can thin it out if you wish!

This soup is great for the winter and is low in fat, high in fibre and has slow-release carbohydrates to keep your energy levels up. It can also be frozen so why not double the amounts and freeze half for a quick and easy tea the following week?

You can join in with this competition too - full details here. Good luck!