July 29th, 2022


What wild weather we are having this winter. With so much rain and grey days the garden has virtually come to a standstill. This is not unusual for this time of year in our southern garden, but with the added lack of sun that our region is usually renowned for, growth is VERY slow. Even my winter mainstays of parsley, coriander, silver beet and kale are stunted – it is slim pickings out there.

With the rainy gloomy days, I find myself craving soup often. I am sure I am not the only one, so today I am sharing a soup recipe that has been on repeat this winter. It is simple, thrifty and nourishing – I usually make a double batch to put half in the freezer for another rainy day. The recipe began life when I had one lonely uncooked lamb chop remaining from a meal that I cooked to make a broth, then bulked it out with red lentils, grains, and carrots. 

I feel fairly confident if I checked the contents of most vegetable drawers one produce item I would almost always find would be carrots. They are available all year round – I particularly love the spring carrot bunches – and can be used in soups and stews, roasted, grated into salads and of course cakes. In the soup below I use carrots for their colour and flavour. The slow cooking of the soffrito (sautéed onions and carrots) brings an earthy sweetness and gives the soup a lovely warm hue.

Enjoy, and stay warm and dry!

Carrot, Lamb & Red Lentil Soup

In this soup, I take one lonely uncooked lamb chop remaining from a meal and turn it into a thrifty meal bulked out by red lentils, grains, and of course carrots. The small amount of meat brings flavour but where it would normally be served to one person it now stretches to feed four. It is unlikely you will find one lamb chop at the store (unless you go to a butcher and select your own) but the extra chop/s on the tray can be frozen singularly to make this soup again. Because it is a goodie - I have made it many times this winter. Update 2023: see extra flavour additions below.
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 1 large lamb shoulder chop, about 250g (or use a lamb shank)
  • 6 cups 1.5 litres water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup 100g red lentils
  • cup 70g quinoa or brown rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (about 150g), chopped
  • 2 large carrots (about 250g), grated
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Large handful fresh parsley, chopped


  • Put the lamb chop, water and bay leaf into a large saucepan, cover and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 40-50 minutes until the lamb is very tender. You can also use a pressure cooker or multi-cooker to make the lamb broth, choosing the “meat” option - mine took 20 minutes.
  • Use tongs to transfer the cooked lamb to a bowl. Cover and set aside.
  • Wash the red lentils and quinoa or rice in a sieve then add to the broth and continue to cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frypan, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the carrots and cook for a further 5 minutes until beginning to caramelise. Add the paprika, cumin and tomato paste and stir over the heat for 1 minute. Add the sautéed carrot mixture to the saucepan of simmering lentils and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  • Use 2 forks to shred the meat from the lamb bone and add the meat to the soup along with half of the chopped parsley.
  • Now check the flavour and season generously with salt and pepper to taste. The soup flavour improves over a few hours as the flavours mingle. If you can, make it ahead of time then reheat to serve - you will be well rewarded.
  • Ladle hot soup into bowls and scatter with extra fresh parsley to serve.


Update May 2023 - I recently made this soup again and added the following optional flavour additions:
When adding the sautéed onion/carrot mixture to the soup pot, add 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp fresh or dried dill, and 2 tsp dried mint. Skip the fresh parsley for sprinkling at the end and serve with wedges of lemon. Delicious! 
*Recipe first published 18 June 2022 on

Join the Conversation

  1. Rachel Bourke says:

    I love this receipe. I used chicken instead of lamb and I have also made it without any meat.. It also cooks well in a slow cooker. Thank you Nicola, very cheap and economical too.

    1. Thanks Rachel, so great to hear. It is super versatile with the base ingredients.
      Happy cooking 🙂

  2. I had the leftover soup in the freezer. Delighted again by the flavour, thank you for the recipe.

    1. Thank you, and the flavour does improve with a little extra time to infuse 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Nicola Galloway Homegrown Kitchen © Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.