Warming and nourishing lamb shank and barley soup


Perfect for winter, this slow-cooked soup is warming and nourishing. In Chinese medicine, lamb is considered warming and townifying, great for boosting circulation and building energy and blood, particularly when slow-cooked on the bone. High in fibre for healthy digestive function, barley strengthens digestion and helps to clear fluid retention.

This soup is ideal for those feeling the cold or struggling with winter aches and joint pains, for women after giving birth to replenish energy and blood and boost milk supply, and for anyone feeling tired and rundown.

Lamb shank and barley soup


4 lamb shanks
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 sticks celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 L beef (or vegetable) stock
1 L water
2 Tbsp tomato paste
½ cup white wine (optional)
1 cup pearl barley
2 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary
1 bayleaf
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano


  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and brown shanks to seal in flavour. Remove and set aside.
  • Add onion, garlic, carrot and celery to the saucepan and stir-fry over low heat for 5 mins. Return the lamb shanks to the pan, and add pearl barley, stock, wine, tomato paste, water and herbs.
  • Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours or until lamb is falling off the bone. If you want extra veggies, you can add green beans or mushrooms for the last 20 minutes of cooking.
  • Take out the lamb shanks, flake the meat off the bones and add it back into the soup.
  • Season with  a little freshly ground pepper, and some extra fresh rosemary.