Scotch Broth

Serves: 4-6 Ready in: 2 hours

My Aunty Nettie made her broth so thick the wooden spoon would stand upright in the pot. I stayed with her in Scotland as a child one very snowy winter, and every night dinner began with a bowl of this soup. It makes good nutritional and economical sense. Scotch broth is packed with vegetables, providing a healthy dollop of our 5+ a day, at the same time taking “the edge’ off the appetite so the main course doesn’t need to be as hearty, having filled up on healthy soup at the start.


  • 700g Lamb neck chops  - a bit more or less either way doesn’t matter
  • ¾  cup pearl barley
  • 2 ½ litres of water
  • 1 tbsp butter or oil
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 turnip or swede, peeled and finely diced
  • 1-2 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • ½ tsp salt
  • generous handful chopped parsley


      Place the meat and barley in a large heavy based pot and cover with the water. Bring to the boil and skim off any scum from the top. Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour.

      Remove from the heat, take out the meat and allow the barley stock to settle. Use a large serving spoon to skim any visible fat from the surface (If you have time you can cool the stock and when chilled lift the fat off with a spoon).

      Heat the butter in a saucepan and gently cook the prepared vegetables until softening, add the skimmed barley stock and simmer covered for ½ an hour. While the vegetables are simmering strip the meat from the bones, chopping it finely before adding it back into the soup. Add the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper add more liquid if needed.



      Lamb neck chops are a pretty inexpensive cut, so as a winter dish this soup isn't just nourishing and tasty, it's also very economical.

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