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Scotch Broth (2)

This is surely one of the world’s greatest soups! Inter-change the vegetables and meat at will but do not leave barley off your list of ingredients. Scotch Broth has been called "the porridge of the evening" in so far as saying that it is good rib-sticking stuff that can be a great meal on its own.


╝lb pearl barley
╝lb dried peas
Żlb mutton or braising beef steak
2 tablespoons salt
3 leeks
3 carrots
1 turnip (swede)
1 small white cabbage or 5-6 leaves of kale
1 onion
1oz parsley
A little black pepper

Before going to bed soak the barley and dried peas in water. It doesn’t really matter what the temperature of the water is but I prefer to set the barley and peas going in boiling water.

The next day place the beef in a saucepan, cover with cold water add the salt and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about an hour. Whilst the meat is cooking chop up the carrots and turnip into small cubes. Also chop the onion, leeks and cabbage (or kale) finely. Add the soaked barley and peas to the boiling mutton or beef and then add the prepared vegetables and allow the mixture to simmer for a further hour. If the level of the liquid should fall too low add extra boiling water.

Fifteen minutes before the end of the second hour add the chopped fresh parsley together with a little freshly ground black pepper.

The broth can be served straight away but tastes even better upon re-heating the next day so never make small quantities of Scotch broth, always plan on two days worth. It is said that in some households the broth pot is constantly on the stove and is merely added to as required. Personally I prefer my broth during the winter months only but that is perhaps just a modern taste.

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