This is a perfect winter warming soup for the whole family; serve it with fresh sourdough bread to mop up all those delicious flavours.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy based saucepan and add the pieces of lamb, turning them to seal and brown on both sides. Remove lamb.
Add onion, carrots, and leeks to the saucepan and cook gently until softening. Return the lamb to the pan with veggies and add the vegetable stock, bay leaf, parsley, and pearl barley, bring the mix to the boil and reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.
Discard parsley sprigs remove lamb and then remove any bones and chop the meat and place back in soup Season with salt and pepper.
This dish tastes even better the next day after it is cooled and refrigerated, remove and discard the layer of fat, then reheat gently and serve immediately.