The house by the sea foodwaves


Tag: Barley

Lamb soup (Icelandic meat soup with a twist)

Spring time is here you might say, still a bit cool in Iceland though so a last chance to warm up with a hearty Lamb soup.  What I love a bout spring is the longer days, the daylight that is.  It is bright 6 in the morning and until about 21.00   I am one of those who really love the almost 24 hour daylight in the summer.  But I also like to take a break from it with the darkness of winter because then I appreciate it when it comes again, I don´t mind the darkness in winter either.  Two different seasons but I am always glad for spring and to get up in the morning more easily.

The meat of lamb in Iceland is delicious.  Try it if you ever come here.  The lamb runs free and it is more like a meat of a game.  They wander around the mountains where they nibble on the fresh country side and often they go to the shore to eat the seaweed, plain healthy!  When I got left overs from the leg of lamb for example I sometimes make a soup.  The classic Icelandic lamb soup has lamb, on the bone, onion, rolled oats (or rice) carrots, rutabaga and cabbage.

I on the other hand love the Icelandic Barley.  It is perfect with lamb.  Then I use can of tomatoes.  I usually never make the same soup twice because this is a good way to clean your fridge.  Therefor I use what I have.  This time because it was after Easter I had leftovers from the Easter dinner, leg of lamb and bigotto (barley cooked inspired by risotto).  I cooked the barley in water with a handful of dried wild mushrooms.

lamb soup

Lamb Soup

  • 1 cup cooked barley (with the dried mushrooms)
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 can organic plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked cannelloni beans
  • 1 cup chopped lamb meat
  • 2 teaspoons curry
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil, 3-4 tablespoons
  • As much water as you like the soup to be thick

Sear the veggies with oil.  Add the rest and bring to boil, simmer for 15 minutes or so.  I didn´t use much water, maybe a cup,  because I liked it on the thicker side.  If you have fresh cilantro that would be lovely.

Anything goes here, if you use the cooked barley, cooked lamb and can of tomatoes you could endlessy improvise.  Once I had an indian dinner I threw in a soup like that.   Potatoes or pasta instead of barley would be nice too.


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Salmon fiesta at lunch time and never ending food scandals

So, I guess most of you have heard about the horse meat scandal.  In Iceland they decided to take examples from Icelandic food products to see if they found horse meat in it.  There was no horse.  I guess since we eat a lot of horse in Iceland they would just say it contained horse meat.  But the “funny thing” was, they tested a beef pie from one company and it contained ta taaaaa…no beef, just no MEAT at all, not even a horse.  30 % of the pie was supposed to be beef.  I guess you can call it a vegetarian beef pie.

Like I´ve said so many times, stop buying all this processed and ready made food.  I know making everything from scratch is hard, but it is so rewarding and worth it.

And if you are too lazy too cook, just boil potatoes and fish and serve it with a good pinch of real butter, homemade even 😉



This summer we were at home with our new born and the neighbors were on a summer vacation so we had lots of food fiestas.  One took place at our house at lunch time.  The men had been outside working on the houses (we are both building our houses).  I was in the kitchen and made a lovely meal, worth writing down.

This was a healthy and a very tasty meal. Barley goes very well with salmon.

I made Teriaki Salmon with barley salad and teriaki dressing.  The Teriaki was made of  mirin, soy sauce and sugar.

Barley salad

  • Barley, boiled
  • Ruccola
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Red pepper

Cut veggies, mix well.


Eating only what grows in Iceland, how would that go?

I have been thinking about this concept “eating local” and seasonal lately after reading few books by American authors.  We don´t have much seasonal…Kind of only one season, fall.  Potatoes, carrots and roots during fall and lots of berries (picking them myself because usually they don´t sell the Icelandic berries at the supermarket and the few ones you can buy in stores are crazy expensive).  Other than few types of berries we got no fruits.

There is no one that makes oranges, bananas, melons, apples, lemons, you name it, to sell in the stores.

We have big greenhouses making peppers, cucumber, salad leaves, carrots, few different lettuces, broccoli, tomatoes and mushrooms all year round, no special season there, and that´s almost all you get “grown in Iceland”. (Once in a while I find a zucchini).  No onion or garlic, pumpkins or eggplants…only imported

We have of course lots of fish, mussels and other seafood, lamb and beef all year around. Our fish is very fresh, so is the lamb.   Many Icelanders who eat meat eat horse meat and whales when they fish them.   Then we  have chickens and pigs.

We grow barley but  no white flour and no sugar or syrup at all.   Few farmers have been making honey.  A tiny little jar is very expensive, so honey would be luxury.

My boyfriend ate nothing but Icelandic food for a whole month, that meant NO SUGAR and no white flour and no alcohol. We did buy a little jar of honey for him to last the month 🙂  At that time I was pregnant so I was to lazy to participate fully in this experiment, with all my pregnancy cravings 🙂

It was interesting.  It went well, We do have food in Iceland and for sure we would not starve. BUT! I am happy we import some things.  There are few things I couldn´t live with out, like my fruit smoothie in the morning,  sugar for baking, white flour for my pizzas and pasta and last but not least my red wine.

I made these Barley pancakes for my boyfriend during the Icelandic food period using only Icelandic grown food.  They are healthy, simple and good.

Barley pancake patties

  • 1/2 cup Barley flour (ground barley)
  • 1/2 cup Quick cooking Barley, boiled in water with a little bit salt for 5 minutes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk, or enough to make think pancake patties
  • 1-2 tablespoons melted butter

Mix the ingredients well togeather. Melt butter on a pan and add to the batter.  Cook the pancake patties on both sides on a pan, just like pancakes.  With a little bit of white flour mixed with the barley flour they get a little lighter.  I use butter because we don´t have any Icelandic cooking oils.

It´s very good with an egg , salt and dried chili flakes.

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