Icelandic lamb is renowned for its flavour and quality; the result of a pure breed of sheep first brought to the isolated Nordic island by Vikings. This beloved soup is a favourite throughout Iceland, and every household has their own recipe. The combination of lamb on the bone and root vegetables make for a flavourful, nourishing meal, and some recipes call for the dish to be made heartier still by adding rice or rolled oats towards the end, which results in a thicker stew.






Skill level

Average: 3 (373 votes)


  • 1 kg lamb chops, or 1 kg lamb shoulder, bone in, cut into 4 cm pieces across the bone (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large turnip, cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 3 waxy potatoes (such as desiree), cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 3 carrots, cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 30 g (⅓ cup) rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups shredded kale

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink match 2012 Vasse Felix Chardonnay, Margaret River, WA ($29)

Place lamb, onion and 2.5 litres of water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, skimming impurities from surface. Season with salt and pepper, then reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour to allow flavours to develop.

Add vegetables, thyme and bay leaves, and cook, topping up with 400 ml extra water if necessary, for a further 1½ hours or until meat is meltingly tender and starting to fall off the bone. Remove lamb from soup and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, add oats and cook for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Once lamb is cool enough to handle, shred meat from bones, discarding bones, and return to soup. Stir through kale and season.



Photography by Brett Stevens. Food preparation Phoebe Wood. Styling Kristen Wilson.


As seen in Feast magazine, July 2014, Issue 33.