I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

August 19, 2014

Smoky Lamb and Root Soup

Would you believe I saw some blossom this week Dear Readers?

That may not seem all that interesting if you live in the warmer regions, but down here where we're still hitting the minuses most nights, it was very exciting indeed!

Despite the bit of watery Winter sunshine shining through my window today, it's still the season for hearty wholesomeness and Soup is still at the top of my list. One of the really great things about cold weather though, is the abundance of top quality root vegetables. A lot of people think of these as a bit old fashioned and a lot of them haven't had quite the renaissance that beetroot seems to have had the last few years, but they are really quite lovely and very sweet indeed this time of year

Turnip, Parsnip and Swede

I also happen to have a smoked Lamb Shank languishing in my freezer so this is also destined for the pot to add a bit of extra flavour and depth. A smoked ham hock or ribs would be great as well, or leave them out all together if you prefer a meat free version

Smoky Lamb and Root Soup

1 large Parsnip
1 large Swede
1 large Turnip
2 Onions
2 large Carrots
half bunch of Celery
375gm/1 packet dried Soup Mix or mix of dried beans & peas- make sure there's no barley!
Smoked Lamb/Ham Hock
1.5 lt Stock- veggie or chicken
big pinch dried Thyme or few sprigs fresh
couple of Bay Leaves
splash Oil

Chop the onion, carrot and celery into fairly small pieces. I like to use a food processor to save some time and to save my wrists the hassle. In a long simmered soup like this they all meld together anyway and the rustic presentation means that painstakingly chopping each veggie to look it's best just doesn't matter

I like the Mckenzie's Italian Style Soup Mix. It has a great combination of beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils but no nasty gluten containing barley

Dried herbs because it was raining and I was too lazy to go outside for fresh- it wasn't the rain that worried me, it was the soggy, smelly dog that would want to jump all over me and make me muddy :)

Definitely too good to waste- just look at how much meat is left on the bone!

Sweat off the onion, carrots and celery in the splash of oil until they have a touch of colour

Add in the herbs and mix through well

Whizzy up the turnip, swede and parsnip into smallish chunks. I don't worry about the odd bit that misses the blades, it will certainly cook down anyway

Stir through the bean mix

Bury the hock in the veggie and beans- don't add any salt yet as it can toughen the beans and the hock could have a fair bit in it anyway

Top up with the stock and simmer for a couple of hours or until the beans are nice and tender but not mushy OR pop it all into a slow cooker in the morning and it will be hot and hearty by the time you get home from work in the evening

Keeping the soup warm, pull out the hock and remove the meat from the bones. The meat should just pull off easily by now, then just roughly chop it into bite sized pieces. I always include the gelatinous gristly bits too, they just melt away to nothing in the soup

Stir the meat bits back in, check for seasoning, then serve up big, steaming bowls of Yum

See how a lot of the veggies have broken down and thickened up the soup- this is a real 'Stick-to-your-ribs' type of meal indeed!

So Dear Readers, do you enjoy the old fashioned Root Vegetables and is it still Soup Weather in your neck-of-the-woods?



  1. Yummy, a real rib sticker, heartwarming meal! xo

    1. Thanks Liz! Winter isn't over yet, so still time for soup :)

  2. I feel your eagerness about spring. I smelled some jasmine a couple of weeks ago and got so excited! What a divine soup! :D

    1. Bring it on Lorraine! I've got daphne blooming, but my jasmine won't be out for a couple of months yet xox

  3. Ooh, I love chunky soup! Beans and meat overload, yum!

    Gourmet Getaways

    1. Thanks Julie, this is definitely a hearty one indeed :)

  4. This is just what I feel like eating Bec. Looks just so good. A couple of Jasmin blooms poppped up at my house last week . Yay!

    1. So nice to see signs of warmer weather isn't it Tania. I can't wait until the agapanthus blooms :) xox

  5. My backyard looks pretty summery right now, many of the flowers are blossoming, its beautiful, but oh so surprising when you step outside expecting the summery temps and its still freezing!
    I do you enjoy the good old fashioned root veggies, and heck yes I think its still soup weather here in the Berra.

    1. So lucky Anna! I can't wait until Summer :) I love those old fashioned veggies indeed, I think it's time to bring them back into fashion again- what do you think?

  6. Rebeca - yummm...one of my all time favorite soups. I make one very similar with smoked ham hock. I would love smoked lamb...have never seen it in my neck of the woods. I think I might like it better than ham...sounds so so good!

    1. Thanks Ina! Smoked lamb is a lovely change from ham. Perhaps you could ask at a butcher that smokes their own meat and they would smoke a lamb leg for you? I have done that before when I wanted corned lamb instead of corned beef and it wasn't a problem- good luck :)

  7. Still soup weather in these woods, especially as I have a throat like razor blades at the moment. I quite fancy a bowl of your lovely soup...yes, on the list for this week I think.
    Spring? Is it really time?

    1. Poor you Brydie :( I hope you feel better soon. I wish I could post you a big bowl full- but it might get messy! xox