Scotch Broth


  • 1/2 cup pearl barley, soaked overnight
  • 2 lb lamb shanks or similar, with bones
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup turnips or rutabagas
  • 1 cup parsnips
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • bay leaf
  • 10 cups cold water


  • Soak the barley overnight, in the refrigerator.  Make sure it has at least 2 inches of water above it.
  • Quarter one of the onions.
  • Place the quartered onion, lamb, and peppercorns into a large pot, and cover them with the water.  Bring slowly to a boil, then to a low simmer.
  • Cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  If a layer of persistent foam develops, skim it off as needed.
  • Remove as much meat as possible from the bone(s), break or cut into 1/2-inch long pieces, and return to the pot
  •  Drain the barley.  Add it and all the other ingredients to the pot.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, then a low simmer.
  • Cover the pot and simmer for another 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally, until barley and carrots are tender.

Serves 4-6

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