Scotch broth

Scotch broth

Scotch broth is a wonderfully filling soup that has been enjoyed here in Scotland for centuries. Each family will have their own variation of the recipe, some using beef instead of lamb, using all manner of root vegetables and grains. However, providing its home-made and not out of a tin, you can’t really go wrong. The recipe below is a good hearty version that will keep you warm on a cold winters night and fill your tummy sufficiently to warrant itself as a main meal. Serve it up with big hunks of buttery bread, put on your cosiest pyjamas, then snuggle up for the night in front of the fire. Aren’t winters just grand?


1 tbsp vegetable oil
400g lamb shoulder, cut into small bite size chunks
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced into 1cm cubes
1/2 small swede, diced into 1cm cubes
1 leek, sliced
2 celery sticks, sliced
1/2 small white cabbage, thinly sliced
3 thyme sprigs
200g dried pearl barley, rinse well under cold running water before adding
3 litres lamb or vegetable stock
large handful parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste


Heat the vegetable oil in a large soup pot. Add the diced lamb shoulder and brown in batches. Once all of the lamb is browned, remove and set aside. Add the onion to the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions start to soften. Now add in the diced carrot, swede, celery and leek, stirring before cooking for another couple of minutes. Add the lamb back to the pot along with the pearl barley, lamb or vegetable stock, sliced cabbage and sprigs of thyme. Stir well to combine, cover with a lid and leave to simmer away on a medium heat for 2 hours until the lamb is tender.

Before serving check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to your prefered taste before stirring in the chopped parsley. This soup is really thick and more of a stew to it in itself makes a lovely filling main meal if served with lots of buttered bread.

Serves 6


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