Ask your butcher for some large hindquarter shanks, perfect for this soup.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large meaty lamb shanks
2 large onions, finely sliced
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
4 medium carrots, halved lengthways and sliced
1 leek, halved lengthways and sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
1 parsnip, peeled, cut in half lengthways and thinly sliced
2 large waxy potatoes, peeled and diced
2 litres water
½ cup pearl barley
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh parsley sprigs
Heat oil in a large heavy-based pot. Brown shanks on all sides, remove from pot and set aside. Melt butter, then add onions, garlic, carrots, leek, celery, parsnip and thyme.
Cook over low heat for 15 minutes until softened.
Add potatoes and cook for five minutes.
Add water, pearl barley, shanks and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 60 minutes, until shanks are tender and meat is falling off the bone.
Remove shanks and shred meat with your fingers or a fork. Discard bones.
Return lamb to the pot. Season with salt and pepper, add chopped parsley and serve.