Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Lamb and Mint Soup

Ah, spring is here, the sun is in the sky and birds are tweeting.  At the weekend we went for a walk in the countryside, and the fields were full of lambs, gambolling around without a care in the world, and it was this sight that inspired today's soup.
A roast dinner on a Sunday (or any other day of the week for that matter - it's too good for just a weekend!) is one of my favourite things in the entire world, and a good bit of roast Lamb is the best Sunday roast of all.  I try and do one every week (although I refuse to submit to the emotional blackmail that a certain instant gravy company that shall (*sniff* ahhh) remain nameless insist on putting in it's adverts that your family will fall apart if you don't make a roast once a week, and presumably be taken into care, your neighbours will whisper behind your back and you will become an alcoholic and die and be buried in a pauper's grave - or am I taking this a bit far?)
On top of a mountain.  I'm the one on the left...
At one of Soup Tuesday's weekly soup and cake planning meetings (yes, we have meetings...), I had the idea to soup-ize meals, and this is an attempt to turn a roast lamb dinner into soup.  The soup is actually made with left over roast lamb, but you could buy fresh if you wanted. Also, instead of making the roast potatoes and parsnips, if you have any left-over mashed potato, you could make mini potato cakes by adding some flour, rolling the mixture into little balls and frying them, before adding to the finished soup

2 Carrots
2 Leeks
2 Parsnips
1 Large Potato
1 Onion
250g Lamb
1.5l Stock
Frozen Peas
1 Lemon (Zest)
Handful Fresh Mint Leaves
Salt and Pepper
Thanks to Lizzy for parsnips straigh from the allotment
1. Put the over on to heat up to 200ºc

2.  Chop the carrots, leeks, parsnips, potatoes and onion into small cubes / slices

3. Heat some oil in a pan and gently sweat the carrot, onion and leeks for 5 minutes

4. Put a roasting tin into the oven, with some oil in it, and get the oil nice and hot.  This should take about 5 minutes.  Then put the cubes of potato and parsnip in it, tossing them in oil so they are covered all over.  Put the tray back in the oven and let the vegetables roast for 25-30 minutes.  Check on them regularly, so they don't burn, and shake the tray so the vegetables brown evenly on all sides

5.  Once the carrots, leeks and onions have sweated for 5 minutes, add the stock (I put left-over gravy from the Sunday roast in with the stock to add extra flavour) and the cubed roast lamb.  If you are using fresh meat instead of left overs, either roast the meat beforehand, or brown it in the pan before sweating the carrots and leeks
6. Grate the zest of the lemon into the soup, bring to the boil and cook for 30 minute.

7.  5 minutes before serving, add a handful of chopped fresh mint to the soup (or use mint sauce) as well as a few frozen peas, taste and season.

8.  Serve in warm bowls.  Garnish with the roast potatoes and parsnips and a few mint leaves

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