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Dilled Lamb And Barley Soup

2/3 c Pearl barley
2 tb Butter
3 lb Lamb shanks (about 4 shanks)
2 Onions -- finely chopped
2 Cloves garlic -- minced
2 Celery stalks -- thinly sliced
2 Carrots -- 1/8-inch slices
6 c Water
1/4 c Chopped parsley
2 ts Salt
1 Bay leaf
1/8 ts White pepper
1 ts Dill
Sour cream -- for garnish

Soak barley in water to cover. Meanwhile, heat butter over medium heat in a large, deep pot or Dutch oven. Brown lamb shanks in butter on all sides. Mix in onions, garlic, celery, and carrots, then add the 6 cups water, parsley, salt, bay leaf, pepper, and dill. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer slowly until lamb is very tender (2-1/2 to 3 hours).

Remove lamb shanks from soup. Take meat off bones; discard bones, fat, and skin. Return meat in chunks to soup. Discard bay leaf. (At this point, you may chill soup and let barley stand overnight, then skim off fat from soup.)

Drain soaked barley and add it to the soup. Bring soup to a boil again; cook, covered, until barley is tender (45 minutes to 1 hour). Season with additional salt, if desired. Spoon sour cream over each serving.

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