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5 from 15 votes

Traditional Scotch Broth

This authentic Scottish soup will nourish your body and comfort your soul!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time4 hrs
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Scottish
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 314kcal
Author: Kimberly Killebrew


  • 1 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder or shanks (or beef with bones)
  • 2 tablespoons quality lard or butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1/3 cup dried green split peas
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups quality chicken broth (I use and recommend Aneto)
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and diced
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1 medium leek, chopped, rinsed and drained
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish


  • Cook the onions and garlic in the lard or butter until softened, 4-6 minutes.  Add the lamb, herbs, barley, split peas, salt and broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours.  Skim off any foam.  
  • Add the carrot, turnip, rutabaga and parsnip.  Simmer for another hour.  
  • Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.  Remove the meat, shred it and discard the bones.  Return the shredded meat to the pot along with the leek and cabbage.  Simmer for another 30 minutes.  Add salt to taste.  
    We like this soup on the thick side, almost a stew.  If you prefer the soup a bit thinner, add some more broth.
  • Serve garnished with fresh chopped parsley.
Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 579mg | Potassium: 936mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2095IU | Vitamin C: 32.2mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 3.4mg