Memory Lane Scotch Broth

"When I was a kid my mom served us Campbell's Pepper Pot, Scotch Broth, and Black Bean Soups. Now that I'm in the nostalgic time of life, I wanted to eat these soups again, but Campbell's has discontinued the Black Bean and makes the Pepper Pot and Scotch Broth only in Canada. I ordered a case of the Pepper Pot from that big online retailer that sells everything, but decided to buckle down and recreate Scotch Broth and Black Bean Soup in my own soup pot. The Black Bean recipe is posted as Memory Lane Black Bean Soup, and here is the one for Scotch Broth. I combined bits and pieces from several other recipes found online, so if anything I learned came from you, thank you! This is more trouble than I normally go to to make soup, but if you have a craving for Scotch Broth, this one might do the trick. Chilling and skimming the fat from the broth is optional, but I think it tastes better if you do. This is a heart-warming soup on a wintry day."
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Ready In:
3hrs 45mins




  • Soak the barley in cold water while you make the lamb broth.
  • Put two lamb shanks in a 6 quart soup pot (I like enameled cast iron) and brown them on all sides in a little oil.
  • Add 8 cups of beef broth and 4 cups of water.
  • Bring to a simmer and simmer for ten minutes.
  • Skim the scum off the surface until it is clear.
  • Add bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and dried parsley to pot.
  • Simmer, lid ajar, for two hours until lamb is very tender and ready to fall off the bone.
  • Remove lamb from the stock and cut meat into small pieces. Discard gristle, fat and bone.
  • Chill the stock, then skim the congealed lamb fat off the top and discard it.
  • Remove the bay leaf and discard.
  • Saute all the chopped vegetables in a large skillet in 2 Tablespoons of butter for five to ten minutes until they are soft. Do not brown.
  • Add the sauteed vegetables and the soaked drained barley to the stock and simmer, covered, about 45 minutes or until vegetables and barley are tender.
  • Add lamb meat back into the soup.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add a little salt if needed.
  • Serve piping hot with freshly ground pepper on top.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This is very close to the original Scotch Broth. Excellent reverse engineering! I find that pearl barley is done a little sooner than 45 minutes, depending on how fresh it is. I start checking it at 25-30 minutes. This is expensive using the lamb, but worth it for the real flavor. It can be made using other meats as well; I use about 3# not including bone. I make this every year and put it up in jars to share and enjoy all winter!
  2. Made this for my darghters family and got rave reviews,especially from the kids who are pickey eaters. Cut down on the time a little by using beef stew meat diced(partially frozen at the time, easier to dice). will be making this soup again and again. thank you so much.


  1. I used a leg of lamb and cooked it in the pressure cooker with water about half way up the meat. I had the butcher saw it in two pieces so it would fit. I didn't brown it first -- I don't think it's necessary. I chilled that broth overnight, skimmed the fat, and added enough chicken broth to make 2 quarts total for cooking the barley and vegetables. Also, I didn't sauté the veggies first -- I put them in with the barley and broth and let them cook there. Cooking them first and then cooking them again with the barley seemed like too much. This is especially true if you plan on putting this stew up in jars, where it will get cooked more in the canning process.


Hello from the Willamette Valley in Oregon, truly a land of milk and honey. Cooking is my favorite hobby, but as I still work full time, meals must taste great and be relatively healthy, but be quick to fix. There is not a lot of time for complicated, time-consuming recipes. I like to keep things simple while maintaining top flavor. Have recently re-discovered my big food processor and am enjoying letting it speed up the prep work wherever possible. <img src="">
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