Sort-of Scotch broth

Sort-of Scotch broth

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(5 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 2 hrs

Skill level



Serves 6 - 8

An alternative take on the Highland soup with stewed lamb, cabbage and pearl barley

Nutrition and extra info

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Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving (8)

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  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus a bit extra
  • 1kg lamb neck fillet, shoulder or other fatty stewing lamb, cut into generous chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small white cabbage, roughly shredded
  • 300g/11oz swede, diced the same size as the carrot
  • 200g pot or pearl barley
  • 2l vegetable stock
  • large handful parsley, chopped

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  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish and brown the lamb – in batches if necessary – then remove to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add a drizzle more oil and tip in the onion, carrots, leek, celery, thyme and bay. Cook for 5 mins until the vegetables start to soften.
  2. Stir in the cabbage, swede and barley, then return the meat to the pan. Pour over the stock and season with a little salt and lots of pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 1½ hrs until the meat and barley are tender and the vegetables are just starting to collapse. Scatter with parsley and ladle into bowls.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2013

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RachM00's picture
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This is a lovely hearty dish, perfect for a chilly day. I added some green lentils for the last half hour of the cooking time. I also cooked the pearl barley separately in order that it wouldn't soak up all the stock (again added to the pot for a bit towards the end of the cooking time).

suzymmorton's picture
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I made 50% quantities but with extra veg (and half a fennel bulb instead of celery) and it served 5 easily. I used 50% of the recommended fluid (even allowing for making half quantities to start with) as I wanted more of a soup than a broth. I also cooked it for a good 2 hours to make sure the lamb wasn't tough. The flavours weren't strong but I think I had some duff thyme! Will definitely make again.

rhona67's picture
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I used shoulder of lamb and it is absolutely delicious!! I also used 1.5l of stock instead of 2l (mainly because I couldn't fit 2l into my casserole dish) and I'm glad I did - it would have been much too soupy if I'd used the full amount.

neilemarsh's picture

This is a lovely hearty meal! The smell of it cooking is wonderful. To do the full recipe you will need a large casserole! Maybe add some small potatoes too.

sbradley's picture
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I'm vegetarian so I didn't actually eat this but I did cook it for my husband and daughter who said it was excellent. It was quite easy and quick to prepare and just looked after itself in the oven. I'm sure I'll be asked to make it again.