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Tattie Soup

One of the greatest American influences on Scottish diet was the potato. Tatties were introduced into Scotland during the 17th century and interest in this new crop was so great that when Robert Graham of Tamrawer planted a field of potatoes near Kilsyth, people came from far and near to marvel at this fabulous new food novelty and to find out how it was grown, Potatoes quickly found themselves planted in the humblest kitchen garden and became an essential part of the Scottish diet, particularly in the Highlands. The potato blight which afflicted Ireland in the 19th century also affected Scotland, but compared to Ireland Scottish deaths were few. Churches and private charities formed a well-endowed Fund for the relief of the Destitute Inhabitants and many individual landowners more than did their bit. Indeed Norman MacLeod of Dunvegan bankrupted himself in providing relief for his tenants. Relief was provided into the 1850s. The potato famine in Scotland may have led to few deaths but it did lead to further clearances and mass emigration. Many Americans and Canadians can trace their ancestry back to the Scottish potato famine.
150 years on Scots still continue to enjoy potatoes in all shape and sizes and a plate of Tattie Soup is just the ticket to combat the continuing cold weather. Our thanks to Kenzie (9) and Caitlin (7) Wallace for this recipe which can be made by bairns of all ages! Serves 4-6.
Tattie Soup
Ingredients : 3 pints (1.75 l) strong beef or chicken stock - stock cubes are handy; 2 lbs (850 g) floury potatoes, peeled and sliced; 1 large onion, peeled and chopped; half a turnip, peeled and chopped; 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped; 3 teaspoons salt; 3 pinches pepper
Prepare the stock. Make 3 pints of stock in the soup pot. Place the pot on the cooker and heat stock until it is boiling. Add all the vegetables and the salt and pepper. Mix in with wooden spoon. Simmer for 1 hour until the vegetables are soft. Remove from cooker and mash all the vegetables until soup has a rough, porridge-like consistency. Taste, flavour with salt and pepper if required. Serve piping hot - goes well with a goodly supply of oatcakes.

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