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Scotch Broth with Ethiopian barley

As with borscht, there are nearly as many recipes for Scotch Broth as there are pots of soup.  The only standard ingredients are lamb and barley.  We’ll typically use a turnip and cabbage as well.  Sometimes we use our goat instead of lamb.  In every case, it's delicious and nourishing.

Adapted from Homegrown Whole Grains by Sara Pitzer

Yields: 6-8 servings


2 pounds or more lamb shanks or neck bones

1 Tbsp oil

8 to 10 cups water

2 carrots, diced

2 turnips, diced

2 cups cabbage, diced

1 large onion, chopped

½ cup popped SCF Ethiopian barley

1 Tbsp Tomato paste

1 tsp salt                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

The Soup:

Remove any visible fat from the lamb, then brown the meat in the oil in a deep kettle.   If the shanks of neck bones don’t seem to have a lot of meat on them, feel free to use more than 2 pounds.  After browning the meat, pour off the oil and add enough hot water to cover the meat.  Bring to a boil, lower, heat, and cover the pot.  Simmer 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender.   Cool, then refrigerate until the fat rises to the top and is firm enough to lift off.  

Pick the meat from the bones and cut any large pieces into bite-size ones.  Return to the heat, bring to a simmer again, and add the carrots, turnips, onion, cabbage, barley, tomato paste, and salt.  Simmer gently for about an hour, until the barley is done.

 If you prefer crisp soup vegetables, don’t add them until about 20 minutes before the barley should be tender.  If the soup seems too thick, add water; if it seems too soupy, simmer with the lid off for a while.

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GRAINS: Ethiopian Barley, Grass fed Lamb,