Scotch broth is one of those dishes that you don’t eat every week. In fact, you probably go from ear to year without making it. With that said, I bet it’s in your top ten favourite soups of all time! The thing is, you have to be in a Scotch broth mood. You have to be craving it! Because unlike so many soups it takes a little more time to prepare. However, follow these few simple steps and you will soon find out why it’s now an international classic!
There are two main qualities I look for in a good broth; the first is the quality of the stock and the second is the consistency. Both have to be perfect. Too much stock and it’s thin and boring to eat, too thick with pulses and you’ll be standing your spoon up in it. I prefer to use mutton for the broth but lamb or beef will work equally well. Your butcher will be able to help you with a good cut to poach slowly; I usually go for the neck as it has a fantastic flavour and texture. Just be sure to trim any excess fat off before you start. Soup perfection!
- 100g pearl barley (soaked overnight) 100g pearl barley
- 1kg mutton
- 2 litres cold water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 large chopped onion
- 2 sticks of celery chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- ¼ green cabbage such as Savoy, sliced
- 1 leek chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- Couple of grinds of fresh white pepper
- Small handful of freshly torn parsley
In a pan on the stove place the water, mutton and barley with the teaspoon of salt. Slowly bring up to the boil, reduce to simmer and gently poach for 1 hour. Skim any sediment that arises and add all the vegetables except the cabbage and the leek. Bring back to the boil and again reduce the heat so the broth lowers to a simmer.
Once the vegetables are nearly cooked and the lamb is tender add the leeks and cabbage. Once cooked allow to cool slightly, shred the lamb back into the broth, finish with parsley and season to taste.
Serve with crusty bread and a smile!