It’s been a while since I made Scotch Broth but as luck would have it, I had almost all the ingredients on hand this morning. I’ve been down with that nasty virus that’s going around and by today my appetite, thought not my energy, was starting to return. It was time to make soup.

Scotch Broth, just after the addition of sauteed leeks

I put two lamb shanks I’d thawed overnight into a medium pot, poured the lamb stock I made several days ago over them, added a couple of bay leaves and set the timer for 3 hours. With the flame on very low, I made a quick trip to Bill’s Farm Basket for onions, parsnips and leeks. I wanted lentils, too, but they were sold out.

After peeling and dicing parsnips and carrots, I sauteed a large onion in butter and when it was tender, added the diced vegetables and continued to cook them until they were nearly tender, about 15 minutes. I pulled the shanks out of the cooking liquid and added the sauteed vegetables. I cleaned and sliced the leeks, sauteed them in butter and when the parsnips and carrots were fully tender, I stirred the leeks into the soup, along with the shredded meat I’d pulled from the bone.

Why did I saute the leeks separately? you may be wondering. I wanted them to retain their distinct flavor and to have a bit of texture. I simmered everything together for 3 or 4 minutes. A quick taste indicated all that I needed to do was correct for salt and add plenty of freshly ground black pepper, which I promptly did. And then I devoured a bowl. Yum! I think I am on the mend.

Scotch Broth isn't really broth at all but a hearty soup, perfect when you're recuperating from a cold.

If you don’t have a hearty lamb stock on hand, check out one of these recipes from the Seasonal Pantry archives, which are pretty close to Scotch Broth.

Irish Lamb Broth with Farro

Irish Lamb Broth with Barley