Wanting to blog about a recipe for others to try on Burns Night (on the 25th January), I asked my mum to see if she had any old family recipes that I could cook up and write about. She found me an old recipe for Scotch Broth from forty years ago, which seemed perfect to try out. Having never made it before, it was incredibly simple to do and filled the kitchen with lovely winter soupy aromas while simmering away.
This is what my mum told me about it…
Burn’s Night is celebrated by a meal, usually consisting of Haggis and other Scottish goodies like Scotch Broth. This could be a starter at a Burn’s Night Dinner or a simple supper dish to celebrate with friends at home. I believe I first ate it at Cha-Cha’s (my daughter’s god-mother) house back in the late 1960’s. Born in Glasgow she came south to work and became friends with my family and introduced us to all things Scottish. We enjoyed many a Hogmany with her and she usually served up something like Scotch Broth on Burn’s Night. I even learned Scottish Dancing with her when she bought me a pair of ‘proper’ dancing shoes. She returned to Scotland and, now retired, lives on the shores of Loch Linnhie and I think of her when I use this recipe.
A one-pot very hearty soup that can be a starter or a more substantial meal served with warm crusty bread or thick french stick.
Serves 4-6 people, or more if just a starter.
The soup should be made the day before it is needed.
1½lbs (750g) Lamb neck chops (the meat is taken off the bone for serving)
2 tblsps Pearl Barley
2½ pints of water
3 Leeks cut into slices
1 Medium turnip cut into small cubes
1 Large carrot cut into small slices
1 Stick celery cut into small slices (optional)
1 Medium onion chopped
½ Small cabbage shredded
2ozs (40g) Dried peas (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Fresh parsley chopped to garnish
NB If using the dried peas, place in a bowl, cover with warm water and leave overnight, rinse and drain well before adding to the soup.
1 Place the meat in a deep saucepan with the cold water and bring to the boil, skim off any scum that appears on the surface.
2 Then add the barley, turnip, and if using, the peas, and simmer gently for about 1 hour.
3 Then add the rest of the vegetables and simmer for another 30/40 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
4 Add the cabbage and stir until heated through and just tender.
5 Remove the chops from the pan and separate the flesh from the bones discarding any fat etc.
6 Return the meat to the pan and then leave the soup to get cold so that any fat can be scraped off.
7 When required reheat the broth, check the seasoning and serve sprinkled with parsley and warm crusty bread.