icelandic meat soup

Hi every-one,

I'm still busily working on my photos from Iceland so I thought I'd share an Icelandic recipe with you. Iceland is a bit like New Zealand in one way. There are many more sheep than people so it was no surprise to find Icelandic lamb on the menu just about every night. One really popular item was the ubiquitous meat soup, made of course with lamb.

Food is really expensive in Iceland so for lunch I'd either have a sandwich or a bowl of soup. The soup always came with bread and butter and best of all, a refill. Now as it happens I didn't actually try meat soup when I was in Iceland. I mainly had the vegetable soup and on one occasion, a very disappointing bowl of fish soup.

Last Thursday when I returned to Sydney, I found a recipe for meat soup on the SBS website and went to the shops for the ingredients. I figured even with jet lag I could manage to put together a pot of soup and that pot of soup lasted the week.

The recipe called for lamb on the bone but all l I could find in the shops were lamb shanks. I had to extend the cooking time by a few hours, close to 4 hours in the end. In return - a very large pot of meaty soup loaded with chunks of vegetables.

Here's the recipe for you which adds kale to the soup just before serving. I didn't see kale in any of the supermarkets I visited in Iceland so I get the feeling cabbage would be used. The kale does add  nice touch of green to the soup though.

Icelandic Lamb Soup – serves 6

1 kg lamb chops, or 1 kg lamb shoulder, bone in, cut into 4 cm pieces across the bone (ask your butcher to do this for you)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 large turnip, cut into 2 cm cubes
3 waxy potatoes (such as desiree), cut into 2 cm cubes
3 carrots, cut into 2 cm cubes
2 leeks, sliced
5 thyme sprigs
2 fresh bay leaves
30g (⅓ cup) rolled oats
1½ cups shredded kale

Place lamb, onion and 2.5 litres of water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, skimming impurities from surface. Season with salt and pepper, then reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour to allow flavours to develop.

Add vegetables, thyme and bay leaves, and cook, topping up with 400 ml extra water if necessary, for a further 1½ hours or until meat is meltingly tender and starting to fall off the bone. Remove lamb from soup and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, add oats and cook for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Once lamb is cool enough to handle, shred meat from bones, discarding bones, and return to soup. Stir through kale and season.

See you all again with more travel photos from Iceland.

Bye for now,


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