I can’t decide if this is a chowder or a minestrone soup with lots of cheese. For some strange reason it reminds me of a soup Mum used to make with grated onion, carrot, celery and chicken noodle soup which she covered with water and when cooked added some milk to – don’t think there was ever a recipe for it, but it was one of my favorites especially when I was sick.
Vegetarian recipes weren’t something Mum would have been looking for on the pages of the Herald Sun. Growing up I can’t remember anyone among our family or friends who didn’t eat meat, so cooking vegetable only dishes just wasn’t necessary. This recipe is on a page Mum kept from the paper that had pork, lamb, sausage and fish casseroles on it, so the recipes were around, they just weren’t something Mum made.
It might put you off that this old recipe because it starts off “Place the barley in a large bowl. Cover with water; soak overnight”. But if you be bothered doing it the barley will make the soup delicious and when you add in the lamb and vegetables you’ll end up with a very hearty and warming winter dish.
This recipe is in my brother’s lovely flowing handwriting, which means that my sister-in-law gave to Mum back in the 60s. Mum used to make it for casserole style entertaining and it tasted quite good, although personally I was never that fond of the tinned pineapple, you can use fresh pineapple instead if you have the same problem. You need around 750g of sausages.
Casseroles seem to fall into two categories, the fancier type that Mum would serve up to guests and the basic ones she would make for family meals. This recipe falls into the second category, it’s really just meat and vegetables, but great to just put in the oven and forget. Today I make this sort when I have time and reheat when needed.