1. In a large soup pot, sauté onion in oil until translucent. Add the lamb and bones and a little salt. Cover and cook for 20–30 minutes.
2. Add all the vegetables and let cook for 20 minutes.
3. Add water to cover, then add remaining salt, spices, and herbs. If using barley or chickpeas, add at this point.
4. Cover pot and cook over medium heat for two to three hours or over low heat for five to six hours.