The 5-2 Challenge. Full of Flavour. Low in Fat. Lamb Shank and Barley Soup With Vegetables.

Lamb Shank and Barley Soup With Vegetables

Nothing beats a Lamb Shank and Barley Soup in winter. Delicious and nutritious. Loaded with vegetables. Full of flavour. Low in fat. Hearty, warming fast day fare.

To be perfectly frank this dish has always been a staple on our winter dinner menu. Well before I embarked on the five two diet. So from the outset I knew today’s fasting wasn’t going to be difficult. With just a little tweaking of ingredients I was able to reduce calorie count without sacrificing any flavour. The formula behind my most successful fast day menus is to use plenty of whole foods, only a little carbohydrate and keep a close eye on fats.

French trimmed shanks are much leaner than their untrimmed counterparts and perfect for this soup. Jam packed with vegetables, one and a half cups of soup provided a very satisfying dinner for just under 370 calories. Coupled with my mid morning smoothie, this fast day was a breeze. No skim cappuccino required to tide me over.

1 Cup Tea
Mid Morning
Banana and Raspberry Smoothie
Mid Afternoon
1 Cup Tea
1 Bowl Lamb Shank and Barley Soup
1 Cup Tea
Total Calories

Lamb Shank and Barley Soup With Vegetables
Makes 10 cups (244 calories per serve)

2 tablespoons olive oil (240 calories)
4 frenched lamb shanks, bone in, trimmed of all visible fat, 250g each (1330 calories)
1 large onion, diced (46 calories)
2 large cloves garlic, minced (8 calories)
4 medium carrots, diced (104 calories)
3 medium leeks, diced (110 calories)
2 sticks celery, diced (14 calories)
2 parsnips, peeled, diced (150 calories)
1 litre stock; chicken or vegetable (80 calories)
1 litre water
½ cup pearl barley (350 calories)
fresh bay leaf (1 calorie)
sprig of thyme (1 calorie)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped (4 calories)

HEAT oil in a large heavy-based pot. Brown shanks on all sides, remove from pot and set aside.
ADD onions, garlic, carrots, leek, celery, parsnip and thyme. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes until softened but not browned.
ADD stock, water and lamb shanks. Bring to the boil and skim off any scum that comes to the surface.
ADD the bay leaf and barley, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and reduce the heat to low, or transfer to a 150 C  oven, for about 2 hours, or until the meat falls easily from the bone.
REMOVE shanks and shred meat into bite sized pieces with your fingers or a fork. Discard bones.
SKIM the top of the soup again, if necessary, to remove any excess fat. Return  meat to the soup and bring to a low simmer for fifteen minutes.
SEASON to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with parsley to serve.

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5 Responses to The 5-2 Challenge. Full of Flavour. Low in Fat. Lamb Shank and Barley Soup With Vegetables.

  1. this looks delicious. I love lamb. Never would have thought to make a soup with it. I HAVE to try this!

    • We eat a lot of lamb here in Australia. This is the type of old fashioned recipe that would have made a regular appearance in the Country Women’s Association cookbooks. I’m sure every family has its own version. Well worth a try.

  2. It must be delicious!

    • It was. Sadly the whole pot was greedily devoured by my family so there were no leftovers for the freezer.

      • Haha I know what you mean! We use lamb and sheep meat a lot in Abruzzoculinary tradition, and we have a recipe called “pecora alla callàra”, an incredibly delicious sheep stew that is similar to your dish, but we reduce it a lot more. We never have leftovers when we make it! 😀

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