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La Motte - Syrah & Soup for a wintery weekend

This traditional, hearty Barley soup is an economical but delicious dish – ideal for a wintery weekend. Although Barley today is often simplified to only consist of ingredients such as meat bones, barley, onions, carrots, salt and pepper, in the days of the Old Cape, meat and fish were often used together in a recipe, as is the case with this soup.

Enjoy with a glass of 2011 La Motte Syrah!

Barley Soup Recipe


3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

500 g Lamb knuckle, sliced

2 onions, chopped

1 leek, sliced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

Just over ¾ cup (200 ml) pearl barley

Zest and juice of 2 lemons

1 Tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh dill

1 Tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh oregano

2 Tbsp (30 ml) white wine vinegar

2 Tbsp (30 ml) fish sauce

2 Tbsp (30 ml) fruit chutney

8 cups (2 litres) lamb stock, or veal or vegetable stock

½ cup (125 ml) marrow from beef marrowbones (optional)

1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon

Bouquet garni (bunch of herbs, bound with string or in muslin bag, consisting of thyme, parsley, bay leaf, rosemary and fennel)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chopped fresh dill and/or parsley for garnishing


Heat a large saucepan and add the olive oil. Brown the lamb knuckles, and then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onions, leek, celery and carrots to the saucepan and sweat until soft (do not left it brown)

Return the lamb to the saucepan, along with the remaining ingredients (except the seasoning and garnish) and simmer for 1½ – 2 hours until the lamb is tender.

Remove and discard the bouquet garni, and season to taste with salt and black (or white) pepper. Sprinkle with freshly chopped dill and/or parsley just before serving.

Serve with crusty, homebaked bread.

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