25 g (1 oz) butter
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 lamb rump chop or 125 g (4 oz) lamb fillet, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 small leek, chopped
500 g (1 lb) mixed parsnip, swede, turnip and carrot, cut into small dice
50 g (2 oz) pearl barley
1.2 litres (2 pints) lamb or chicken stock
4 teaspoon ground allspice
2-3 rosemary sprigs
salt and pepper
chopped parsley or chives, to garnish (optional)


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary.
2.Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan, add the lamb, onion and leek and fry, stirring, until the lamb is lightly browned.
3.Stir in the root vegetables and barley, then add the stock, allspice, rosemary and plenty of salt and pepper and bring to the boil, stirring.
4.Pour into the slow cooker pot, cover with the lid and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the barley is tender
5.Stir well, taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed, then ladle the soup into bowls.
6.Garnish with chopped herbs and serve with warm bread, if liked.
7.FOR HUNGARIAN CHORBA, fry the lamb and vegetables as above, omitting the pearl barley.
8.Stir in 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, then add 50 g (2 oz) easy-cook white long-grain rice and a few dill sprigs.
9.Stir in 1.2 litres (2 pints) lamb stock, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon light muscovado sugar.
10.Add salt and pepper, bring to the boil and continue as above.
11.Garnish with extra chopped dill and serve with rye bread.

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