Scotch Broth

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    6 to 8

Appears in

Floyd on Britain & Ireland

By Keith Floyd

Published 1988

  • About

Scotch broth is very much what you make it. But its quality does depend on obeying some simple rules. First, you must have lamb or mutton stock, so this is the ideal winter soup to make the day after you have had some roast lamb because you can use the bone to form the basis of the stock. Put your lamb bone to simmer in 4 to 5 pints (2.3–2.9 litres) of unsalted water while you prepare the other ingredients. Second, make sure that your diced vegetables are all cut into equal-sized pieces – about ½ in. (1 cm) cubes. The addition of a few ounces of chopped kale is a tip from a Scottish cook.


  • 8 oz (250 g) carrots, diced
  • 8 oz (250 g) turnips, diced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • White of 1 leek, sliced
  • 3–4 oz (75–125 g) pearl barley
  • 4 oz (125 g) dried peas, soaked for 4-5 hours
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 4 pints (2.5 litres) lamb or mutton stock
  • Kale or other bitter winter greens, chopped (optional)


Add all the ingredients to the stock. Simmer gently for a couple of hours, making sure that the peas become mushy and the barley expands and becomes soft and white. If you wish, add a few ounces of kale 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Check the seasoning and serve.