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Scotch Broth

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11 May 2012 at 11:28
When I was a kid, I tried a can of "Scotch Broth" from Campbells once on a cold, snowy day, and absolutely loved it. Here's an advertisement from 1954:



I only found it again once or twice after that; evidently, sales were discontinued in the US. Now that I think about it, I haven't seen it anywhere in stores for over 20 years, but I still remember with perfect clarity how much I enjoyed it; it was one of those truly great "food memories" that we all carry around.

So imagine my joy when I found this really good-looking recipe, from Time/Life's Foods of the World - The Cooking of the British Isles, 1969:

Quote Scotch Broth

To Serve 6 to 8:

2 pounds lamb neck or shoulder with bones, cut into 6 pieces

2 quarts cold water
2 tablespoons barley
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely-chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely-chopped turnips
1/2 cup finely-chopped onions
1/2 cup finely-chopped leeks
1/2 cup finely-chopped celery
1 tablespoon finely-chopped parsley

Place the lamb in a heavy 4- to 5-quart casserole and add the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, meanwhile skimming off the foam and scum as they rise to the surface. Add the barley, salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, and simmer partially covered for 1 hour. Add the carrots, turnips, onions, leeks and celery. partially cover again, and cook for 1 hour more.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a plate and pull or cut the meat away from the bones. Discard the bones, fat and gristle, and cut the meat into 1/2-inch cubes. Return the meat to the soup and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes to heat it through. Taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
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AK1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2012 at 19:18
It's still available from Campbell's in Canada.


Actually, I think I'll have to try making it from scratch. I have a cast iron scotch bowl that I've been itching to use.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2012 at 10:28
This is on my list! I missed all the winter veggies though so I'll have to wait until the fall.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 August 2012 at 18:13
I'm makin' it tonight.Smile


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2013 at 09:11
Darko - how was it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2013 at 15:51
It's good, it's nutritious but, IMO, there's really nothing there that makes me want to have it again.

It is the stereotypical bit of British food, edible but boring.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2013 at 15:55
Yikes!

Well, now i am definitely interested. I'll have to see if I can give it a go. I don't want to change the recipe, but at the same time I will challenge myself to see if I can get maximum flavor out of this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Effigy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2013 at 19:09
Shocked!
How could lamb neck chops be bland? They are delicious.

After a careful read of the recipe, I would suggest soaking the barley overnight before use. I would also suggest using a clear stock instead of water, I usually use chicken stock with lamb stews. Also despite what the recipe says the liquid should only just cover everything, so even if it says 2 quarts, don't add it all at once. Once your meat and veges are covered, reserve the rest to top up as required as it cooks. I am also remembering the old saying - "A stew boiled is a stew spoiled" - watch that it only ever simmers, not boils.

On another note - Hogget or Wether would be tastier than Lamb, just cook a couple of hours longer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2013 at 20:15
I remember seeing that soup around as a kid. I don't think I ever tried it, though. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 hours 29 minutes ago at 09:31
Here are a couple of more advertisements from Campbell's....



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 hours 36 minutes ago at 11:24
I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but lamb shanks are sold at the local butcher's shop - and, they are pretty darned inexpensive, around here.

I picked up four of them last week and will make this when I have the chance; most likely the weekend following this one, but that's not written in stone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 hours 55 minutes ago at 13:05
When you strip away the improvisations, additions and other "extras" that Scotch Broth has acquired with changing times and tastes, there are definitely some essential ingredients that are quintessential and "necessary" (for lack of a better term) to the soup's identity. Onions, carrots, celery and barley are among these, and leeks are commonly found, as well. The meat of choice is, of course, mutton or lamb; while some cooks do make beef, chicken and even vegetarian versions, these are evidently not the norm, by any means. Other root vegetables, such as turnip, parsnip and "swede" (rutabaga)- or any combination of these - are commonly found, and I assume that celeriac would not be excluded.

In my research, I came across this blog entry from "The Farmersgirl Kitchen" -

https://farmersgirlkitchen.co.uk/2016/01/make-scotch-broth-like-a-scot/

I found it to be very informative for a couple of reasons. The first is that I learned that my FotW recipe is not too far off; there are a couple of differences, which will be discussed below, but they are minor. The second thing that I learned was that - like any "traditional" recipe - there is a lot of latitude where ingredients, methods and goals are concerned. I knew this already, of course, but my primary goal was (and still is) keeping it traditional in the sense that it would be "recognizable" today, fifty years ago, seventy-five, or whenever. This blog entry, written within the last couple of years, pairs fairly well with the recipe that I started out with, which is almost 50 years old.

According to the Farmersgirl blog, traditional Scotch Broth can be as thick or thin as you like; this was very welcome news to me, as I prefer my souple to be thick. Other legumes, including lentils and split peas, are often used; in fact, a common product available in the UK is a bagged "Scotch Broth Mix" of dried legumes and barley. A typical mix includes 55% pearl barley, 18% yellow split peas, 9% green split peas, 9% blue peas and 9% red split lentils; to clarify, blue peas are the same peas used for green split peas, but whole and with the skin left on.

Probably the biggest surprise, for me, was that kale - one of the current "superfoods" that are all of the rage these days - is a very traditional ingredient of Scotch Broth. Again, it's one of those things that make perfect sense, but it was something that I hadn't thought of, until I saw it in this recipe as well as one published by the BBC (which also included peas):

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/scotchbroth_8116

Interestingly, the Farmersgirl Blog states that parsley can be used instead of the kale, which is exactly what the FotW recipe does.

For my first preparation, I will most likely stick close to the FotW recipe; the only thing that I might do differently is to follow Anne's suggestion above to use a stock or broth (vegetable, in this case), rather than water. I am not a fan of kale, so the parsley will be just fine for me; as for the other legumes, I am certainly not opposed to them, but since my goal is something close to the Scotch Broth I remember from my childhood, I will leave them out, for now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 hours 9 minutes ago at 15:51
Adding to the research, this article from The Glasgow Herald on 11 February 1926 describes a Scotch Broth that is not too far off from the FotW recipe above:

https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=GJdAAAAAIBAJ&sjid=OqUMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3967,5193338&dq=scotch+broth&hl=en

The article also seems to underscore the versatility and possible variations when making Scotch Broth.
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