Thursday, November 10, 2005
Warming lamb soup...
If you're a regular reader you know that since my accident, I've been peering into my freezer frequently to see what's hidden in there. And I've found some great forgotten goodies. This week I found a solitary lone lamb shank. Why would I do that, do you think? I mean, if I were cooking for guests and had one extra, wouldn't I have cooked that one to be sure of leftovers? Surely I didn't buy just one... It's a mystery.
Anyway, even though the weather here in Memphis is unseasonably warm for November--we set a record on Tuesday with a high of 86 F--I made soup. I've had Scotch Broth a few times but had never made it. I will certainly do it again! And if the weather had been chilly and damp it would have been even better. It may not look "pretty" but it sure was tasty. And as is true for many great soups, it is equally good the next day!
2 tbsp butter
1 large lamb shank, or 1 lb lamb breast, shoulder or stew meat
1/2 cup medium grain barley
Water, as needed
2 medium turnips
4 stalks celery
1 medium onion
Salt and pepper to taste
Trim off the tough green tops and the root end of the leek. Cut the remaining white and pale green part in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/2" slices. Melt the butter in a large heavy pot and cook the leek over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Put the lamb into the pot, just cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer, skimming as needed, for 30 minutes. Add barley and cook for 45 minutes more, or until the lamb is very tender, adding water just as needed to keep lamb barely covered. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove the lamb, let cool slightly and remove from the bones in chunks. Discard bones and return the lamb to the pot.
Peel the turnips, carrots and onion and dice. Cut the celery into 1/4" slices. Add the veggies to the pot and simmer until tender, another 20-30 minutes. The lamb shank wasn't very fatty, but if you have too much fat, you can skim off the excess. Serves 6-8.