Irish Lamb and Barley Soup with Turnips

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This brothy soup features tender pieces of lamb cooked with potatoes, carrots, and turnips. Fresh parsley and lemon juice brighten it up and remind you that Spring is on its way! 

Irish Lamb and Barley Soup with Turnips

It’s time for another edition of Progressive Eats, a virtual dinner party where we share recipes following a themed menu. This month I’m hosting, which meant I got to pick the theme! Of course, I picked my absolute favorite thing to eat: soup!

I’m so excited for this menu. In addition to a bunch of soups that look amazing, we’re having salad, rolls (what good is a bowl of soup without some freshly baked bread?) and even some dessert soup shooters. This is definitely a dinner party I’d be happy to attend in person.

Irish Lamb and Barley Soup with Turnips

This Irish lamb soup with barley and turnips is inspired by the Irish lamb stew in this month’s issue of Food+Wine magazine. I saw it this past weekend and immediately had to change my dinner plans to make room for this soup since it sounded so good!

I made my soup more brothy than the original stew and added some barley to make it a more filling meal. I also stirred in some fresh lemon juice at the end to add some brightness. If you have them, this soup would be delicious with a few parsnips added in with the carrots. I planned to add them to my pot, but forgot that I had used them all up last week when I made roast sausage with apples and parsnips.

This soup keeps well and the flavor actually improves after a nigh in the refrigerator. I made it over the weekend and reheated it for a simple weeknight meal.

Irish Lamb and Barley Soup with Turnips

Irish Lamb and Barley Soup with Turnips 2

Irish Lamb and Barley Soup with Turnips

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless lamb shoulder trimmed + cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 turnips peeled and chopped
  • 3 thin-skinned potatoes such as Yukon Gold, chopped
  • 4 carrots peeled and cut into rounds
  • ½ cup pearled barley
  • 1 small bunch parsley chopped
  • 1 lemon juiced


  • Heat the oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Working in batches if needed, cook the lamb until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the onions to the pot and cook until soft and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the lamb.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the flour. Return the pot to the stove and add the wine. Stir until smooth, scraping up any browned bits that have cooked onto the bottom of the pot. Whisk in the stock and water. Add the lamb and onions and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 1 hour.
  • Add the turnips, potatoes, and carrots. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the barley and cook 30 minutes, or until soft. Drain and add to the soup.
  • Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.


Adapted from Food+Wine, March 2015
Tried this recipe?Mention @HealthyDelish or tag #HealthyDelish!


Soups On!


Lamb and Barley Soup from Healthy Delicious
Sausage, Pepper and Bean Soup from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Creole Black Eyed Pea Soup from Never Enough Thyme
Old Fashioned Chicken Soup with Dumplings from Creative Culinary
Watercress and Buttermilk Vichysoisse from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Pressure Cooker Chorizo Chicken and Kale Soup from Pressure Cooking Today
Rhode Island Clam Chowder from girlichef


Quinoa Beet Kale Apple Walnut Goat Cheese Salad from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Gado Gado – Indonesian Vegetable Salad from Spice Roots
Buttermilk Herb Rolls from Stetted
Gluten-Free Corn Muffins with Jalapeno and Cheese from The Heritage Cook


Berry Soup Dessert Shooters from Miss in the Kitchen


Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Soup’s On! and is hosted by Lauren Keating who blogs at Healthy. Delicious. Need some warming up? We can help!

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.


Hi, I'm Lauren!

I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie. Read more...


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19 thoughts on “Irish Lamb and Barley Soup with Turnips”

  1. Lamb is my favorite meat. I love this beautiful winter soup incorporating turnips, barley and so much goodness from carrots. I will be sure to plan for parsnips too.

  2. I’m so excited that I got to take part in today’s event (I was secretly hoping somebody would ask for a sub, since I’m a soup addict)! Your soup sounds awesome, so perfect for spring.


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