Scotch Broth

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Executive Chef
Nov 16, 2004
('Scotch' is an acceptable term when talking about food, ie Scotch beef, Scotch eggs, or Scotch Whisky... however, we natives prefer to be called Scots or Scottish 8) )

Traditionally this recipe called for mutton, but that is very fatty and no longer widely available in Scotland - so use a cheap cut of lamb, eg neck....

1 lb cheap lamb (neck)
1 medium sized swede (diced into reasonable sized chunks)
2 medium onions, sliced
3 large carrots, cut into reasonably chunky slices
3 large leeks, sliced
4 oz dried peas
4 oz pearl barley
2 bay leaves
Ground black pepper and small amount of salt, to taste

Soak the dried peas/barley by covering with water and leaving for a few hours (overnight is easiest). Drain the peas and barley when you are ready to start making the soup.

Put meat into a pan with sufficient water to cover the meat - 2/3 pints (these are Imperial pints, by the way, and I THINK that US pints are different to Imperial ones! and add the bayleaves. Cover and bring slowly up to the boil, then simmer for about an hour. Skim off any fat which floats to the top (keep doing that throughout the cooking time). Add the barley/peas and diced veg and season as required, cover again and simmer for about another hour, until the meat is really tender and the chunky veg and dried peas/barley are tender.

If the broth starts to get too thick, just add a little more water...

Serve with chunky, granary bread.
What is a swede?

ok, what is a swede? All I can think of is someone Swedish! LOL

And I am assuming the dried peas are the same as dried beans - versus something like dried green peas - right?
I think swede turnip is called rutabaga in the USA. Hard, orange fleshed larger type of turnip.... not like the small, purple flushed french turnips!
buckytom said:
a swede is a kind of turnip, or a Norwegian wannabe...

Pushing it there, aren't ya, pal?

I would concur with Ishbel that a Swede is the Scot equivalent of a rutabaga, akin to but much different that a common variety turnip.

Ishbel, having chuckled in an earlier post referencing mutton and your desire to be more "heart healthy" makes me wonder when that transformation happened in the everyday Scottish diet? Reading the old notes and recipes has me raising my brow often...and I know my ancestors lived to a very ripe, old age! I know...the lifestyle/exercise thing!

Scotch Broth. A wonderful soul-warming, healthy (here) soup!

(I hope you guys are copying...pasting here!!!!!)
Scotland is still the Heart Attack capital of the world. Our diet is heavily influenced by our weather - so in the winter, traditionallly we ate mostly root vegetables like carrots, swede, potatoes etc and hardy green veg like brussel sprouts, cabbages. Soups, stews and roasts were the order of the day - and with porridge as a staple ... as well as the full cooked 'Ulster Fry' breakfast... many of them heart attacks on a plate.
Any country that proudly boasts that its cuisine includes the classic of deep fried mars bars.......... :LOL:

My family has always been a bit health conscious - believing the old adage of 'a little of what you fancy does you good'.... with the emphasis on the 'little'!

Scottish cookery has changed over the past 20 plus years. We have wonderful produce and there are now many young chefs who have take those raw ingredients and reinvented many Scots dishes. Every year we go on a trip to Skye and go to the restaurant owned by Lady Claire MacDonald - I've also attended a couple of cookery courses at the Lodge.
She is a good cook, who believes in the same things as I do about food - use it fresh, in season - and don't mess it about too much! Here's her website
Deep-fried Mars bars????? :shock: Fortunately, that little tidbit of information was unknown until you shared it! Egads!!!!

I appreciate the insight. And what a wonderful endeavor by the chefs to make more healthy the national traditions, moreover wake up the place with new and exciting dishes. And Lady Claire's website portends a lot of wonderful cooking in her sessions, and set among breathtaking hills! Thank you for the link, Ishbel. Twas a pleasure to go through the site!
Top Bottom