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Scotch Broth Recipe

A traditional soup, made with mutton or lamb and thickened with pearl barley. With some good bread, it's a meal in itself. To be at its best, it should be made the day before. Any surplus fat will then have risen to the top, and can be removed.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards.


For 6/8 helpings:

2 lbs/900gr Neck of Mutton or Lamb (the former will have more flavour, if you can find it); cut into pieces by your butcher
2 oz/60gr Pearl Barley, blanched in boiled water for 2 minutes
1 oz/30gr Green Split Peas, soaked in cold water overnight (optional)
4 pints/2.3 litres Water
½ lb/450gr large Carrots, peeled and diced
½ lb/450gr Turnips, peeled and diced
1 Leek, split half way down from the green end, carefully-washed, then chopped
2 Celery stalks, washed and chopped
1 teaspoon (5ml) Salt
1 teaspoon (5ml) freshly-ground Black Peppercorns
2 tablespoons (30ml) freshly-chopped Parsley


1. Put the meat in a saucepan, large enough to hold all the ingredients, and pour over the water.
2. Bring this to the boil over a medium heat, skimming off any scum as it comes to the surface.
3. Add the pepper, barley and the drained split peas – if using. Not the salt.
4. Reduce the heat, and maintain a simmer for 1½ hours.
5. Add the carrot, celery, leek, onion, turnip and salt.
6. Cook for a further ½ hour, or until the vegetables are tender.
7. Remove the meat with a perforated spoon, and when it's cold enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and return it to the pot – discarding the bones.

If serving now, sprinkle each bowl with a little chopped parsley. But as mentioned above, the soup is greatly improved if the fat is removed after an overnight rest.

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