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Cawl Gwanwyn

200g lamb (scrag end or neck is fine)
15g lard or 1tbs of olive oil (lard is traditional)
225g onions peeled and sliced
225g turnip peeled and cubed
225g carrot peeled and sliced
225g potatoes peeled and cubed
1.7 litres water
Sprig parsley, bayleaf, sprig thyme tied together
Salt and pepper (white traditional but black can be used
550g leeks halved lengthwise, washed, and thickly sliced
4 level tbs freshly chopped parsley


Remove fat and gristle from lamb. Heat lard or oil in a large saucepan, add the meat and cook over high heat until browned all over remove from pan with slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Add onions, turnips, carrots, and potatoes to pan. Cook gently for 10 minutes. Return the lamb to the pan, and add the water and herb bundle (not chopped parsley). Increase heat and bring to the boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low. Skim surface of liquid if needed. Cover and simmer gently for 1.5 hours.

Use a slotted spoon to remove meat and set aside. Season the soup with salt and pepper, increase heat and add leeks. Bring to gentle boil and cover saucepan, and reduce heat. Leave to simmer for a further 30 minutes.

Remove any bones from meat, and cut meat into small cubes. Return it to the soup for the final minute of cooking time. Skim any fat from surface, and remove the herb bundle. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Pour soup into heated tureen and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with fresh bread.