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Easy Scotch Broth with Barley & Kale

 Scotch broth, a traditional Scottish soup made with root vegetables, barley and kale. Made with vegetable stock so it's suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Scotch Broth

EASY SCOTCH BROTH WITH BARLEY & KALE


Scotch broth is a traditional Scottish soup.

It's made with root vegetables, barley and kale in a tasty vegetable-based broth.

It's absolutely delicious.

So easy to make and super healthy.


TRADITIONAL SCOTCH BROTH


Traditional Scotch broth is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

It was originally cooked with lamb, mutton or a beef stock. Once the soup was cooked, the lamb or mutton would be removed and served with tatties and veg.

It's the type of recipe that would be handed down through families.

If you see it on a menu in a cafe or pub in Scotland, don't be fooled by how vegetable-packed it is. Do ask if it is veggie, as it often won't be.

However, it is totally slurpiliously good when made with vegetable stock and it's easy to make at home.


SCOTTISH SOUPS


Scottish soups are always hearty and cheap to make as well as full of flavour.

Here in Scotland we like to use local produce that's available all year round. Mostly root vegetables.

We bulk them out with pulses and grains to make them even more filling and hearty to see us through cold winters and all those wet, rainy days in between.


Vegan Scotch Broth with barley and kale

ROOT VEGETABLES


The root vegetables add texture to the soup, but they add lots of flavour too.

A Scotch broth is a chunky vegetable soup in a broth and never blended.

Now, don't you go blending it!

Make it like a real Scot.


WHICH VEGETABLES ARE IN A SCOTCH BROTH?


  • ONION
  • GARLIC
  • LEEK
  • CARROTS
  • NEEPS
  • KALE

WHAT ARE NEEPS?



Neeps is the Scottish name for turnip. The big hairy purple beast.

We also call it a tumshie. It's an affectionate term.

In England it's called a swede.

The original name is Swedish turnip. We went down the turnip route while England decided to used the Swedish part of the name and abbreviate it to swede.

It's just another way we deviate from our neighbours in England.

It can be confusing.

Oh and elsewhere it is called rutabaga.


Pearl barley

WHAT IS PEARL BARLEY?


Pearl barley is an ancient grain that has been one of the main crops in Scotland along with oats since the Middle Ages.

It's used in bread, soups, stews and of course for making Scotch whisky.

Barley is great in soup as it bulks it out and gives a good texture, but never use it if you are making a quick soup as it does take a while to cook.

If you are adding barley to soup, you will need to leave it to cook for 50-60 minutes.


IS BARLEY HEALTHY?


Yep! Barley is a super healthy grain to add to soup.

It's high in fibre and full of vitamins and minerals.

Go, add some to your shopping list!


LOW-CALORIE SOUP


This broth is a super low-calorie meal but it's filling, so great for a healthy lunch or dinner. 

Especially if you are watching your weight or on the 5:2 diet.


CALORIES PER PORTION

5 portions = 96 calories (each portion)

6 portions - 80 calories (each portion)

7 portions - 68 calories (each portion)


Fresh kale in a colander

ADDING KALE TO SOUP


Fresh kale is one of the key ingredients of a good Scotch broth.

You may think of it as a rough leaf that's a lot of hard work in a salad (with all that massaging), but it's perfect in soup.

Once it's added to soup it turns soft and silky and adds to the full flavour of a broth.

Don't add the kale until near the end of the cook time.

You want it to retain its colour and vitamins and not overcook it.


Scotch broth in a white bowl with a patterned blue trim

BROTH


The broth the vegetables sit in is made with vegetable stock.

It's flavoured by the vegetables and seasoned with salt and pepper.

I like to add either dried parsley at the start of cooking or fresh parsley at the end, but that is optional.

As the broth has a long cook because of the barley, it can thicken up and the broth can cook away.

You can add some more hot water or stock if you think it needs it.



COOKING SCOTCH BROTH IN THE SLOW COOKER


You can also cook Scotch broth in a slow cooker.

No need to precook or saute any of the vegetables, just add all the vegetables, stock and barley to the slow cooker pot and season it.

When converting a recipe for the slow cooker, reduce the liquids by a third.

Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours.

Add the kale 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time.


STORING SCOTCH BROTH


Scotch broth can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

You can also freeze Scotch broth.

Divide it into portions and store in freezer soup bags or airtight containers for 3-4 months.

Defrost in the fridge overnight, then reheat and serve.



Scotch broth served with Scottish oatcakes

MORE TRADITIONAL SCOTTISH RECIPES TO TRY


Here are a few more traditional Scottish recipes for you to try. They are all super simple and taste great.


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Scotch broth, a traditional Scottish soup made with root vegetables, barley and kale. Made with vegetable stock so it's suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

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HOW TO MAKE SCOTCH BROTH


Scroll down for step-by-step photos followed by a full printable recipe. If you don't have a printer, hit print then save as a PDF. 

Making Scotch Broth - Step 1 - adding the vegetables to the pot

STEP 1


Add the olive oil to a large pot and heat, then saute the onions and garlic until soft.

Add the leeks and cook them for another couple of minutes.

Now add the neeps (turnip/swede) and carrots.


Making Scotch Broth - Step 2 - barley, stock and kale added to soup

STEP 2


Now add the barley and dried herbs, then add the vegetable stock.

Cook until the barley is soft, adding more stock if you need to.

Towards the end of the cooking time, add the kale. You add it to the kale to keep it fresh.

Scroll down for the full, printable recipe.


Making Scotch Broth - Step 3 - soup seasoned and served

STEP 3


Once the barley is soft, the soup is ready.

Season with salt and pepper and taste to check the seasoning.

Serve with buttered brown bread, cheesy scones or oatcakes.


soup, Scottish soup, Scotch broth, broth, vegetable soup, Scottish broth, soup with barley, soup with kale, low calorie soup, healthy soup, vegan Scotch broth, easy Scotch broth
dinner
Scottish, vegan
Yield: 5-7
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Easy Scotch Broth with Barley & Kale

Easy Scotch Broth with Barley & Kale

Scotch broth, a traditional Scottish soup made with root vegetables, barley and kale. Made with vegetable stock so it's suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 15 M

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed or grated
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 1 small to medium turnip (swede, rutabaga), chopped 
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 5 tbsp pearl barley
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 litres (8 1/2 cups) vegetable stock (4 stock cubes)
  • a large handful fresh kale
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.
  2. Add the leeks and give them a couple of minutes.
  3. Now add the chopped turnip and carrots.
  4. Cook for a few minutes, then add the barley and parsley and stir in.
  5. Add the hot stock and stir, cook on a medium heat for 1 hour.
  6. Add more stock if it needs it.
  7. When it's nearly ready, add the fresh kale.
  8. The soup is ready when the barley and vegetables are soft.
  9. Season with salt and pepper. Taste to check the seasoning.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Notes:

STORING THE SOUP


Once cool, this soup can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

This soup freezes well. Freeze in portions for 3-4 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then reheat.


CALORIES


5 portions = 96 calories (each portion)

6 portions - 80 calories (each portion)

7 portions - 68 calories (each portion)


Calories

96.07

Fat (grams)

3.23

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.51

Carbs (grams)

15.53

Fiber (grams)

2.87

Net carbs

12.66

Sugar (grams)

5.37

Protein (grams)

2.39

Sodium (milligrams)

934.44

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Created using The Recipes Generator

26 comments

  1. I love how delicious this soup is. Never tried it before, that's for sure!

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  2. Wow! What a great soup! Packed with so much flavor! I will be making this often!

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  3. Wow! This soup is going to be gone so fast! Perfect for dinner tonight and my family is going to love it!

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  4. This soup was super flavorful and a terrific way to use up all the kale in my garden. I love all the details about the Scottish names. So fun!

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it and yes we have our own names for everything.

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  5. This recipe looks so fresh and delicious, with such unique flavors! Can't wait to try it.

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  6. My grannie used to make this. That takes me back. I must try it. Thanks for sharing it.

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    Replies
    1. Aww nice memories. My mum made this but without the kale.

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  7. A classic soup that is a favourite in my home! Thanks for the easy recipe :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is a Scottish classic and for a good reason. So good!

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  8. I have everything I need to make this as I was planning to make a veg soup anyway. I even have barley somewhere. Spinach would work in place of kale right? Jill

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    Replies
    1. Sorry I am so late answering. Yes spinach is fine. Hope you went ahead and made it.

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  9. This vegetarian soup looks delicious. Perfect to serve with some toasted bread.

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  10. Hearty, filling and oh so tasty! Delicious with freshly baked sourdough bread.

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  11. This looks so hearty and comforting. I love anything that I can add kale too.

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  12. Easy, quick and a healthy recipe. Love the combination of veggies,Barley and kale and the spices making it a perfect Dinner option. A total filler and meal too.

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    Replies
    1. Yes very health but not one of my quicker soups and herbs rather than spices.

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  13. Thanks for sharing, this soup looks lovely and probably tasty to :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

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  14. We like barley, and this soup looks so delicious!

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x