Quick Bites

Veggie Scotch Broth..

Scotch Broth is quintessentially a Scottish dish. It’s a hearty soup, have it with some bread by the side & fills you up just like a having a complete meal. Made up of a mix of various root veggies like carrots, swedes, potatoes etc. stewed along with some barley & some dried pulses like split peas, marrow beans, red lentils. Cabbage, celery & leeks are often added towards the end to preserve their texture, colours & flavours.

Its gained popularity & available in pre-mixed packets in various stores around the world. 

Pre-mixed packet of Scotch Broth..

You can make it from scratch by buying all these ingredients or buy a ready-mix available in the market which has a mix of all these ingredients along with dehydrated veggies. Just like all pulses, you will need to soak this mix overnight/6-8 hours before you can begin stewing it. Cuts of meat like lamb, mutton or beef are also added when stewing, but since I’m supposed to post a vegetarian dish I made this without meat.

Veggie Scotch Broth...

Among the UK classics are Fish & chips, Scottish – Haggis, Shepherd’s pie, Scotch eggs, Chicken Tikka Masala, Macaroni & Cheese, & of course the lovely sweet treats that are available everywhere like their brilliant cupcakes, sticky toffee pudding, pie’s, quiche’s etc.

When Sonal had posted the International food festival details, I did want to take part, but I was like damn.. what can be possibly a vegetarian dish from the UK… there is some meat in almost every dish. Since the British ruled quite a few countries & there was an inflow of people from those countries into the UK, their food has influences from these countries. Other than root vegetables most of the groceries & vegetables are imported into this country. The weather is harsh & does not favour the cultivation & production of food.

When Sonal personally asked me to be a part of this event, I was in a fix, what could I possibly prepare that’s veg. I asked K and a few friends to help me out.. vegetarian dishes are hard to come by here. I had Scotch broth in my mind… &  we all agreed that Scotch Broth was a good idea.… I had that in mind, but then I was not really sure about it, as I had never got to taste it before… there’s always a first time isn’t it?? So this post was for Sonal’s international food festival event. For details on this event check out Sonal’s blog – it’s a vegetarians delight 🙂 

I used a pre-packed scotch broth mix to prepare this. But below I have described the traditional way of preparing this dish.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)             Preparation Time: 50 – 60 mins
Pearl Barley – 50 gms
Vegetable stock – 2 litres
Onions – 1 large, chopped
Carrots – 2 medium – sized cut in small squares
Turnips – 1 large, cut in small squares (optional)
Celery stalks 2, trimmed, cut in small pieces
Potatoes, cut in small squares
Savoy cabbage – 4-5 leaves trimmed, cored and finely shredded
Fresh parsley & celery leaves – about 2 tbsp, roughly chopped
Leek – trimmed, washed and roughly chopped
Swede – small, peeled and roughly chopped
Red lentils – 25 gms
Split Peas – 25 gms,
Black pepper – freshly ground, use as per taste
Sea salt – as per taste

Wash & soak the barley, red lentils & split peas with enough cold water overnight/ for 6-8 hrs.

Washed the lentils & barley mix thoroughly..

In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Drain the soaked barley, peas & lentils & add them to the saucepan. Add the onion,carrots, turnips and celery to the saucepan. Season with the salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a very gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes to the saucepan & cook further for another 10 mins.

Stir in the cabbage, leeks and return to a gentle simmer. Check the seasoning & adjust accordingly. Continue cooking uncovered for a further 15 minutes, till the barley cooks & turns soft. Turn off the heat.

Transfer to deep soup bowls. Garnish with the chopped fresh parsley & celery leaves.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with crusty bread by the side.

Veggie Scotch Broth..

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Roasted Zucchini/Courgette Soup…Soupy days – Spinach Soup with PotatoPotato Mushroom Soup etc.


9 thoughts on “Veggie Scotch Broth..

  1. I’ve never heard of pre-soaking barley or lentils before. It would cut down on cooking time, but otherwise I don’t see an advantage. Is there a reason you soak the barley and pulses? Thank you.


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