So, I’m calling this “broth” partly because I love the sound of the word, and partly because that’s what this soup (or variations of it) is called where I grew up in Aberdeenshire.  My family (originally from the Glasgow area) call this “homemade soup”.  One could make, lets say, carrot and coriander soup from scratch at home and that would be homemade soup  but it wouldn’t be “homemade soup”.  You know?

Anyway, this is the soup I panicked about not being able to replicate after my mum died and I wanted to get the recipe down here fairly swiftly.  What I should say, though, is that this soup has been made for generations in our family and it’s generally agreed (with the exception of when Nana got confused between the nasturtium seeds and the split peas) that the previous generations’ “homemade soup” is always better than the following generations’ “homemade soup”.

Inferior to previous soups, perhaps, but still damn good.  🙂

Broth (makes BIG pot – freezes well)

2.5l really well flavoured chicken stock

2  cups broth mix (Available in Scottish supermarkets.  Not sure about elsewhere in the UK… It’s a mixture of  barley, split green and yellow peas, red lentils and marrowfat peas.  Barley is the most important ingredient so 1.5 cups of barley would be fine as a substitute for broth mix. )

2 large potatoes, chopped into 2cm pieces

1 cup turnip, chopped into 1 cm pieces

1 cup carrots, chopped into 0.5cm pieces

1 cup grated carrots

1 cup shredded chicken

1/2 cup chopped leek

Salt and pepper

  • Add the stock, potatoes, chopped carrots, turnips and broth mix to a large pot.  Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 hours until barley is soft.
  • Add the grated carrot, leek and chicken.  Season to taste.  Simmer for another 30 mins.
  • Done.  🙂

(broth mix)


19 thoughts on “Broth

  1. It’s a Scottish staple. My mum’s used lamb shank simmered for hours with vegetables for the stock, then some of the meat was shredded into the soup with the rest going into my dads pieces for work the next week. She also used to send me out for something called ‘Swell’ – dried vegetables. Haven’t seen that in a shop for years. I make my own version, but nowhere near as good as my mums 😦 We also have to have chopped parsley. It’s just not the same without it. I think I may just have to make some today now.

  2. I think this is what E calls broth too – we have a soup mix which is similiar to your broth mix – looks nourishing and that is what your mum would wish for you – glad you have kept the tradition going

  3. aaah lovely homemade soup – you can’t beat it!

    was wondering if you knew where the photo of your Mum was taken Wendy?……it looks very familiar to me.

  4. Red – I’m always fooled into thinking Oz must be toasty all the time. 🙂

    Lynn – Beef is the most common meat used in Aberdeenshire. In the part of Glasgow I’m from it seems to be chicken. Lamb sounds great!

    Johanna – Nourishing is the word. 🙂

    Mollie – It’s the Sands of Morar on the west coast. Do you know it?

  5. Brilliant Wendy, love how easy this is. As Johanna points out over here “broth mix” is called “soup mix”. Love the stuff and it’s so cheap.

    And there are so many associations with this kind of recipe aren’t there, it’s so much more than food and instead tied in with nurturing, family situations, locations, emotions.

    I was trying to think of a vegetarian substitute for the chicken, then realised it’s chock-a-block full of legumes, so maybe a sub isn’t needed?

  6. Can’t wait to try this broth! Love soups and especially barley and beans.

    Thanks so much for the recipe! Blessings, Linda

  7. Kathryn – Like Lynn said, the soup’s very nice without chicken too. Got to be great stock though.

    Linda – You’re welcome. 🙂

    Mollie – It’s a gorgeous spot, isn’t it? 🙂

  8. Hi The way I got taught to make it was
    add broth mix to large pot and boil for one hour,
    add carrots, leek and turnip and cook for 30 minutes
    add diced chicken, chopped potatoes and prepared chicken stock cube and cook for further 30 minutes

    It tastes so much better the day after its cooked! and you need Scottish morning rolls to round out the taste!

  9. going back 60yrs my first memory of broth was being sent to the butchers for a sheeps heid
    for the dug then went of to watch hearts and hibs on coming home ma said the soups ready
    went to get it and the heid was sticking out of the pot my ma realy did eat the inside of the heid
    and what about the plain breed the outsider for dipping in the soup

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