I love this comforting, hearty and flavorful soup. Seasonal root veggies make it the perfect winter dish. Barley has amazing health benefits with high levels of manganese, selenium and fiber, proven to balance blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. I like to double the recipe and add up to one cup of hulled barley for a nice thick stew. Last time I made it (doubling it) used about a pound of lamb marrow bones as well as one shank bone – delicious! The bones are economical, flavorful and full of nutrients, drawn out by the long simmering. I like to make a thick lamb bone broth, simmered for up 24 hours, and then cooking hulled barley (that I have sprouted) in it for a couple of hours, creating a thick soft texture.
Scotch Broth Recipe
1 lb/ 700 g lamb (ground, dinner sausage, a neck, or I have also just used some shank marrow bones)
6 3/4 cups water
1/3 cup barley, rinsed (pearl or pot barley do not require soaking; hulled barley does require soaking overnight)
2 onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 small turnips, finely diced
1 parsnip, diced
3 carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery stocks, diced
2 leeks, sliced (whites only)
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1) (If using hulled barley, don’t forget to soak overnight, or longer to sprout) If using lamb bones, place into a pot (I like to brown the meat on the bones before adding the water) and just barely cover with the water, bringing it to a boil. Pour out that first bit of scummy water and now add the 6 3/4 c water. Bring to boil again and quickly turn the heat down to low. If using bones, simmer for at least 1 hour before adding the barley (you can make a thick broth by simmering the bones for a day). If you are not making bone broth, but just using meat, place in pot with barley and the measure of water and bring to boil, turning down to low heat.
2) Rinse barley well. Add barley to pot and cover, reducing heat and simmering gently for another hour.
3) Remove bones, allow to cool and remove meat bits for adding to soup. Add in the meat bits removed from the bones.
4) Add veggies. Season well with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for an additional hour.
5) Remove from heat, taste and add additional salt and pepper, and parsley before serving.