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Lamb, Tomato and Barley Soup - A hearty, rich and delicious soup with tender chunks of lamb, barley, sliced mushrooms and diced tomatoes. Incredible!

Earlier this week, we shared a few recipes for using up leftover ham from your Easter dinner! And for those of you who are serving a traditional lamb for Easter dinner, today’s fantastic Lamb, Tomato and Barley Soup is a wonderful way to enjoy another delicious meal using those leftovers!

This Lamb, Tomato and Barley Soup is earthy and unctuous with tender chunks of lamb, cooked barley and sliced mushrooms plus some contrasting acidity from diced tomatoes – all combined in a rich lamb stock. (I’m licking my lips looking at these photos – this soup is so good!)

Lamb, Tomato and Barley Soup - A hearty, rich and delicious soup with tender chunks of lamb, barley, sliced mushrooms and diced tomatoes. Incredible!

This is a simple soup – but it does take some time to make the homemade lamb stock. Our recipe is written using meaty lamb bones (which you can find in most local supermarkets) and if you have any leftover lamb bones from your Easter dinner, by all means, toss those in as well!

You can also make the stock in advance – in fact we recommend that. Because lamb is naturally a fattier meat you’ll want to skim any excess fat off the top of the broth before making your soup. (So – prepare the stock in advance, then chill it and this makes it easier to skim off the excess fat.)

This Lamb, Tomato and Barley Soup is a recipe I’ve had in my collection for over ten years, clipped a long time ago from the local newspaper (likely The Boston Globe – although the name isn’t shown on the clipping).

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Lamb, Tomato and Barley Soup - A Family Feast

Lamb, Tomato and Barley Soup

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings


Note: The stock can be made the day before if you wish.


To Make the Stock

  • 3 pounds meaty lamb bones (we bought “bone-in lamb stew” at our local market. They looked like thick cuts taken from a lamb shank)
  • 1 large onion peeled and quartered, about ¾ pound
  • ¼ cup shallots peeled and roughly cut up (2 ½ ounces)
  • 1 large rib of celery with leaves cut into quarters
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 4 whole leafy stems of parsley
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 quarts water (1 gallon)

To Make the Soup

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lamb fat, skimmed from the cooled stock
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 8 ounce container cremini mushrooms sliced (baby bella)
  • 6 cups lamb stock from stock above
  • 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
  • ½ cup dry pearl barley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Lamb meat picked from making stock (our stock yielded about a pound of meat)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Additional chopped fresh parsley, as garnish


To Make the Stock:

  1. In a large pot place lamb and cover with water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and discard water. This will remove all impurities from the finished stock.
  2. Place lamb back in pot with all other stock ingredients, bring to a boil then simmer for 2 ½ hours uncovered. Cool and strain. Remove meat from other solids and discard solids. You should be left with about 5 or 6 cups of stock and about a pound or so of meat. A little more or less is fine. Let fat rise to top, skim off and discard all but one tablespoon of fat. Reserve that tablespoon for the soup.

To Make the Soup:

  1. Place the tablespoon of fat back into the pot along with two tablespoons of olive oil and add onions and garlic. Cook over medium high for four minutes and add mushrooms. Cook for another 3 minutes and add stock, diced tomatoes, barley, thyme, rosemary and parsley. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a low simmer. Cook covered for one hour.
  2. Remove lid and add cooked lamb and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and taste for salt and pepper. I did not add any additional salt or pepper to mine.
  4. Serve with chopped fresh parsley sprinkled over the top of the bowls.

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  • Jennifer Greer wrote:

    What kind of barley do you use for this soup? My store has hulled barley and pearl barley. I am not sure which to use, or if I need to find a completely different type. Thank you! I am looking forward to making this!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Jennifer – Great question. You’ll want to use the pearl barley. I will update the recipe to specify that. Thanks for your question – hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Kim Beaulieu wrote:

    This is seriously gorgeous. I’ve never seen a soup so photogenic, you rock Martha. It’s beautiful.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Kim! (It tastes just as good as it looks!) 🙂

  • Angie wrote:

    I hardly ever cook lamb, I should make it more often. This soup looks like perfection!

  • Kirsten/ComfortablyDomestic wrote:

    Boy, I just about never cook lamb at home, but we do love it. The stew sounds so rich & delicious with the lamb stock!

  • Angie | Big Bear’s Wife wrote:

    I don’t cook lamb much but I need to work on that! I would love to learn how to make homemade lamb stock and this soup sounds and looks amazing!

  • Kellie @ The Suburban Soapbox wrote:

    This looks heavenly! I love lamb, I’ve never had it in a soup before. That must happen soon.

  • The Food Hunter wrote:

    Thank you for thinking of lamb leftovers!

  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes wrote:

    Mmmm homemade lamb stock?! This is awesome. I can’t wait to try it out! Looks worth the extra time it takes 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Definitely worth the effort – the stock is the best part of this soup!

  • Cookin Canuck wrote:

    What a beautiful soup! Everyone in my family loves the taste of lamb, but we just don’t eat it often enough. That needs to change, starting with this soup.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Dara!

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