Cook the onions and garlic in the lard or butter until softened, 4-6 minutes. Add the lamb, herbs, barley, split peas, salt and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Skim off any foam.
Add the carrot, turnip, rutabaga and parsnip. Simmer for another hour.
Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Remove the meat, shred it and discard the bones. Return the shredded meat to the pot along with the leek and cabbage. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Add salt to taste. We like this soup on the thick side, almost a stew. If you prefer the soup a bit thinner, add some more broth.