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Scotch Broth


Scottish Cuisine – Simple and Delicious Step-by-Step Recipes 

Scotch Broth 

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Today we’re going to introduce you to a well know Scottish favourite: Scotch Broth. Or as we like to say in Scotland, “a well kent favourite”. 

Despite its name, this isn’t a traditional clear soup as you might expect from a broth. Instead, it’s a thick, hearty, and very tasty soup. In many cases it almost resembles a stew (as is often found with thick soups using a meat stock). We say in ‘many cases’ because you’ll find subtle differences in the delivery of this recipe from place to place. Traditionally it’s made from mutton and vegetables, but it’s not uncommon to find it made using beef instead of mutton.  

Most Scots will have someone in their family whose broth they remember years after the tasting of it. Granny’s broth, or mother’s broth, are often fondly remembered years after the last mouthful has been savoured. Typically, this recipe, will be handed down from generation to generation. It’s a perfect meal in itself for a winter’s day. But really, it’s perfect at any time a soup lover wants a hearty meal or as part of a fuller dinner or lunch menu. 

So for that taste of Scotland we have opted for a traditional recipe:  

Cuisine: Scottish 

Ingredients for ScotchBroth: 

  • 450g lamb or mutton, diced 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 carrots, diced 
  • 2 celery stalks, diced 
  • 100g pearl barley 
  • 2 liters lamb or vegetable stock 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 2 sprigs of thyme 
  • 1 leek, sliced 
  • 1 large potato, diced 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish 


  1. In a large pot, heat a little oil over medium heat. Add the diced lamb and cook until browned on all sides. 
  1. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. 
  1. Stir in the pearl barley, then pour in the lamb or vegetable stock. Add the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Bring the broth to a boil. 
  1. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the broth gently for about 1 hour, until the lamb is tender and the barley is cooked. 
  1. Add the sliced leek and diced potato to the pot. Continue to simmer for another 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. 
  1. Season the Scotch broth with salt and pepper to taste. 
  1. Serve hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley. 

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