Hello...

Hello.
I knew at the beginning of the year that I wanted to let go of the blog. I am in a different place now and I need the space to work through a great many things. I intend to keep the archives up for a time, although I have removed the comment function.
If you have landed here - welcome and feel free to dip in to what was our life - once upon a time...
J xxx

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Real Souperfood!


I posted a photograph of a bowl of Scotch Broth a couple of weeks ago, and mildly threatened that I would do a recipe blog. Well - tada! -  here it is - fabulously rich and filling and delicious.
Another of the tastes of my childhood - normally made by my Dad on a Saturday night, in time for Sunday dinner - in fact, it is still called Papa soup in our family, because we all associate it with him. He still makes it and has a bowl every day for lunch. He, in turn, remembers his Grandfather crumbling an oatcake into his daily plate of broth.


 The basis of any good Scotch Broth is the stock (or broth, as US peeps call it). I have here a pile of good beef bones (a Highlander bullock from the next door croft), but you could use lamb, pork or ham bones,oxtail, or a chicken carcass. I put them in a large stockpot of cold water and sloshed a bit of cider vinegar in, as this helps to draw the minerals and goodness from the bones into the stock. I might have actually roasted the bones first, but I didn't have time, so in they went as they were. Let them sit in this acidulated water for an hour and then bring  to a simmer, strain off any scum, and let them burble away for at least 6 hours. Some people let it go for days, but I cook on LPG, so tend to worry about my cylinder running out.. Anyway - after several hours, we have a rich gelatinous stock, ready to make our soup. There is a good article here on the amazing health benefits of bone broth.


What makes this Scotch Broth, rather than just vegetable soup, is the addition of grains and pulses. We can buy a bag of Scotch Broth mix here, which has a mixture of pearl barley, lentils and split peas, but you can also make it with straight barley. I try to remember to soak my broth mix over night, but if I forget, then I would use plain barley, and soak it until I needed it.
I have one and a half cups of broth mix soaking here, I find that half a cup of barley or broth mix to one litre of stock gives a nice consistency to the soup.

So - bring 3 litres of strained stock to a rolling boil and add your drained broth mix or barley. Let it simmer away while you prep your veg.


Leeks first - I have three medium sized ones here, cleaned and sliced, and there is a small onion in there too The secret of a good Scotch Broth is to cook the leeks and the broth mix well, so let them simmer  together for a good ten minutes on their own. Add some salt to taste - about 3 teaspoons to start with and you can add more later.



Then add 4 large-ish carrots and  three quarters of a small turnip/swede/rutabaga* diced. Not too small, as you want this to be a good hearty pot of  soup. Add pepper, a spoonful of sugar (secret ingredient) and more salt if needed. Let it cook until the vegetables are tender.



Grate the rest of the turnip and another 2 carrots, add them to the soup with a handful of chopped parsley -  taste again and adjust seasoning if necessary. Simmer for another 10 minutes or so, until all the veg and pulses are nice and soft.


And there we have it - Traditional Scotch Broth -  the elixir of life. What more can I say?



More please Mum?



If it lasts long enough, you can freeze this soup, or it will keep in the 'fridge for a few days. Like a good stew, second day soup is delicious. It is one of those soups that  there is no definitive recipe  - you can add whatever you have celery, potato, cabbage, kale -whatever.You can make it a thin delicate broth or a rib-sticking stew by adjusting the quantities to your taste. Just check the consistency and add more stock if necessary.Everyone has their own version - this is mine.  Here are the quantities without the added blurb.

Scotch Broth
3 litres (quarts) stock (broth) made from bones
1 1/2 cups broth mix or pearl barley (soaked)

3 leeks
1 small onion
4 carrots diced
3/4 small swede/rutabaga, diced

2 carrots grated
1/4 swede/rutabaga, grated
chopped parsley - handful
salt, pepper, sugar.

* In Scotland we refer to the swede as a turnip, tumshie or neep. Swede is the English term, and rutabaga is the US name.

32 comments:

  1. I'm writing this down for sure! Beautiful boy you have there,

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  2. Mmmmm, I love vegetable soup and it never occurred to me to use leeks which I adore. You've given me some good ideas.

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  3. Looks delicious!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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  4. Oh yum! I will be making this. I love the smell of stews simmering all day...it's home.

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  5. my favorite kind of meal, looks great.

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  6. Thank you for sharing this. This is now on my list of recipes to try out, especially to keep warm on these cold nights and days! Take care. Chel x

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  7. It is starting to get cooler here (lighting morning fire now) so will give this a go. I must remember the cider vinegar - have never added that.

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    Replies
    1. Bit too much, SH - it only needs a couple of tablespoons xx

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  8. Yummy! Thank you so much - I think this souper soup is just what's required in this weather. Spent half an hour cleaning snow off the car this morning and then another two hours trying to thaw my fingers and toes!

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  9. Now that looks like something my family would really enjoy. I think on the next rainy day I will be preparing a pot for dinner.I have several quarts of bone broth in the freezer so I am already half way there! Thanks for a great recipe.

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  10. Thanks so much for the recipe, it'll be our Easter weekend meal!

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  11. I have printed out your recipe, with plans to try it next week. It is my kind of soup....I could eat this one everyday with no problem of tiring of it! Thanks again.

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  12. Thank you for this truly brill soup recipe! My mum used to make Scotch Broth when I was little; I make lots of soup too, sometimes using those dried beans/barley mixes (yes isn't it a pain when you don't think ahead and pre-soak the darned things!) but I've never actually made a proper Scotch Broth. This is probably going to happen in the next few days! Lip smacking!

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  13. simply wonderful! this is a keeper for sure. thanks for sharing your recipe; I like that it doesn't have half a page of ingredients and it's not fiddly. thank you!!!

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  14. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. After checking out some other recipes on the internet I noticed that some people put lamb in it. I followed your recipe but put in about a cupful of cut up sauted lamb. We had guests who are from the UK over and everyone loved it. I'll be making this wonderful soup again very soon. It's so tasty on a cold, windy night here on the central coast of California.

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    1. Thanks so much LG. yes absolutely - add bits of meat to it. I often use a lamb shank, or flank and just cut off the meat and add it back - same with chicken and ham any meat on the bones. Glad you enjoyed it xxx

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  15. What a great recipe - we love soup but never think to put pulses in them! And just the thing for a snowy Easter, thank you. I have been looking at the photos on your blog too, and you live in a wonderful place. About 20 years ago I spent a week cycling from Barra to Dun Carloway, special memories.

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    1. Hi Stellyb - wow, I am in awae of your fitness - cycling over the Clisham!! Not too far from DC - glad you had a good holiday - the Islands have a special magic. x

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    2. It was a long time ago - wish I was that fit now!

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  16. I'm going to try this - it sounds/looks delish!

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    1. And I'm fron South/USA and we well know rutabagas!

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    2. Hi Kay - thanks for dropping in. Yes - they are a fine vegetable ;)

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  17. I am so pleased so many of you are going to try this - hope itnworksnout and do let me know how it goes xx

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  18. Here in the States, I grew up on Campbell's (canned) Scotch Broth, and it is a taste of my childhood. I vow to make this....thanks so much for the recipe!

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  19. Does Scotch broth freeze and reheat well? I like to make batches of soups and this looks delicious!

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    1. Hi Catherine,

      Absolutely! My Dad still makes a big pot and freezes single size portions. It freezes well x

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  20. This soup also works with Marigold Stock powder.

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    1. Hi Anon - yes I'm sure it will work with any stock powder or cube. Thanks for mentioning that x

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  21. Thanks for posting this over at Hibernate. We've got the perfect weather for it right now!

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  22. My mother brought her scotch broth recipe down from Scotland with her about 80 years ago. I don't recall leeks - perhaps they were a bit exotic for our town! Probably replaced with onions. The pearl barley I recall well - as a child I wasn't keen. She would drink the water the barley had soaked in.

    My porridge had just a light sprinkle of salt added. These days I have milk and sugar with it!

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  23. Oh ive just come across your beautiful blog,my friend is currently moving to your beautiful island and I am so envious,I look forward to reading more on your blog the broth looks amazing xx

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