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You will need.........

1 large 'knuckle" beef bone from the butcher.
4 dessert spoons red lentils.
4 dessertspoons pearl barley.
4 crushed bay leaves.
1 sachet of Bouquet Garni. (or 1/2 teaspoon each of Marjoram, Basil, Oregano, and Thyme)
1 large grated onion. (Chop up small any left-overs)
1 large diced parsnip.
3 medium carrots - grated into strips. (or diced if you prefer).
2 large diced red potatoes.
6oz. peas. (can be frozen peas)
Bunch of chives chopped very short.
2 or 3 spring onions chopped short.
1 finely chopped red chilli cayenne pepper. (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste.
1 vegetable stock cube. (optional)

The amounts, and ingredients, needed will vary according to your taste.


Put the beef knuckle bone into a stock pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer with the lid on for two to three hours. (If the water level drops below the bone top up with hot water.) Evening time is the best to this because after the two hours is up you need to remove the bone and dispose of it. Leave the liquid to cool overnight in a cool place.

Next day, scrape off the beef fat that has formed on the surface and keep in the fridge for basting roast potatoes next Sunday, or for frying the most delicious chips, or for spreading on toast!! (Watch the cholesterol!!)

What is left in the stock pot is the beef gelatine and the basis of the soup. If this is very jelly-like add a cup or two of water for it should not be too solid. Approximately two hours before lunch bring this to the boil and then let it simmer for one hour, with a lid on, after adding the grated onion, pearl barley, lentils and salt and pepper to taste, stirring from time to time.

After one hour add all the reaming ingredients and simmer for a further hour, with the lid on, stirring from time to time to avoid sticking of the ingredients on the base of the stock pot.

Before serving up remove the sachet of Bouquet Garni if you used that, check the taste, and add salt or pepper as required, or extra chilli if you want a 'hotter' taste. The soup should be reasonably thick but you can add more water if you want a clearer more liquid soup. You can also add a splash or two of dark soya sauce, if you like, to slightly darken the colour.

Serve piping hot in ready warmed soup bowls or dishes. A warmed crusty bap, mini-baguette, or a cut piece off a baton is ideal to have with this soup. Ideally a portion of garlic bread, hot from the oven, will really finish this soup off a treat!!

Remember that you can also add a garnish of finely chopped parsley, coriander, or croutons if you wish; and that you can add any vegetables you like to this soup, including sweet corn, chopped capsicum peppers, chopped kenya or kidney beans.
This soup is very filling and really tasty. Mmmmm!!! I'll guarantee that everyone will want seconds!!!

The remaining soup can be put into flat plastic take-away trays (as single portions) and left to cool down before freezing. To cook again add a small amount of water to the frozen soup in a saucepan and simmer gently with the lid on until the soup has completely melted, stirring from time to time. Bring up to a boil for a few minutes before serving again as above.

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This recipe was handed down from my Grandmother who swore by its filling nature
and healthy properties during the cold winter months. It can be adapted and changed to suit
your own taste but below is the recipe that I have adapted over the years; and I simply adore
this soup for lunch, with a crusty mini-baguette, on a cold Winter's day.

Follow the instructions carefully for a sumptuous meal for approx. six portions!




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