Healthy Scottish Soup Loaded with Nutrients to Keep You Fit

Welcome, fellow foodies, to my Scottish Vegetable Soup recipe article! As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I am passionate about sharing traditional Scottish recipes with the world. This recipe for Scottish Vegetable Soup is one of my favorites and I am excited to share it with you.

This soup is a perfect example of traditional Scottish winter warmth in a bowl. It is a simple yet flavorful soup made from root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions along with cabbage, green split peas, and pearl barley. The ingredients come together perfectly to create a broth-like consistency that is both nourishing and filling.

The best part about this soup is that it can be easily adapted into a vegetarian or vegan option by using vegetable broth instead of chicken or beef broth. I truly believe this dish can become a household favorite for everyone, irrespective of their dietary preferences.

Throughout Scotland’s history, the harsh winters required warm and hearty soups to keep people nourished; warming them from the inside out. Just like the Tattie Drottle and Scotch Broth recipes this Scottish Vegetable Soup recipe reflects the true essence of Scotland’s popular dishes.

So whether you are looking for a winter warmer or just craving some traditional Scottish soup recipes, make sure to add this Scottish Vegetable Soup recipe to your list!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Scottish Vegetable Soup
Scottish Vegetable Soup

My friend, let me tell you why this Scottish Vegetable Soup recipe will be your new favorite soup recipe. First of all, it is a traditional Scottish winter root vegetable soup, perfect for those chilly days when you want something hearty and warming.

But what makes this soup truly special is the combination of nutritious ingredients that make up this soup recipe. From the 100g pearl barley to the 85g red lentil and broth mix, this soup is jam-packed with healthy goodness that will nourish your soul.

And let’s not forget about the star of the dish – the vegetables. The carrots, potatoes, cabbage, onions all come together in a slow-cooked process that brings out their sweet flavors and enhances their nutritional value like no other soup.

If you’re a vegetarian or just looking for a meat-free option, try making this soup with vegetable broth instead of chicken or beef broth. You won’t even miss the meat as its meat-free version has excellent taste and texture.

So whether you want to enjoy it as a meal all by itself or as an appetizer before your main course, this Scottish Vegetable Soup is hands-down one of the best soups out there. Trust me, once you taste it, you’ll be hooked to its warm and comforting flavors for good!

Ingredient List

 A warm bowl of Scottish goodness on a chilly day
A warm bowl of Scottish goodness on a chilly day

Here’s what you’ll need to make traditional Scottish vegetable soup that has been passed down through generations:


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 3-4 potatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cabbage, finely shredded
  • 100g pearl barley, washed and drained
  • 75g green split peas
  • 75g red lentil
  • 75g broth mix (optional)
  • 2 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil, for frying

These ingredients are the backbone of Scottish Vegetable Soup. They are all hearty and nutritious root vegetables that pair well together in this soup. Pearl barley is an essential element of this soup. It adds a wholesome and nutty flavor to the broth. However, if you cannot find pearl barley or prefer not to use it, you can substitute with either short grain brown rice, farro or buckwheat groats. Additionally, broth mix is optional but I highly recommend it as it adds depth of flavor to the soup. If you’re making a vegetarian version omit meat-based broth mix from this recipe.

Once you have gathered all your ingredients let’s start making a soulful pot of Scottish vegetable soup!

The Recipe How-To

 Is there anything more comforting than soup with vegetables?
Is there anything more comforting than soup with vegetables?

Now that we have prepared all the ingredients, it’s time to get started with the recipe. Here is how to make a delicious Scottish Vegetable Soup:

Step 1: Cook the Barley and Lentils

In a pot, add 75g of pearl barley, 100g of split green peas, and 100g of red lentils. Pour in 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender for about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Cook the Vegetables

Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot. Add 1 large diced onion, 3 thinly sliced carrots, 3 finely chopped celery sticks, and 2 peeled and cubed potatoes. Saute for 10 minutes until softened.

Step 3: Add Remaining Ingredients

Add in the cooked lentils, barley, and split peas. Pour in 2-3 cups of water or vegetable broth until all vegetables are covered. Add in 1-2 cups chopped cabbage and cook covered for about 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Step 4: Seasoning

Add in salt and pepper to taste. For an extra zingness, you can also add in some lemon juice.

Step 5: Serve

The Scottish Vegetable Soup is now ready to be served hot with some crusty bread or Tattie Drottle!

Enjoy your piping hot bowl of soup filled with traditional Scottish flavor!

Substitutions and Variations

 Hearty and nourishing, nothing beats a homemade soup
Hearty and nourishing, nothing beats a homemade soup

My dear reader, let’s talk about options. This Scottish Vegetable Soup Recipe is versatile, and there are plenty of substitutions and variations that can be made to fit dietary needs or preferences without sacrificing taste or quality.

Firstly, for those who prefer gluten-free, it’s easy to substitute the pearl barley with brown rice, quinoa or gluten-free pasta.

In addition to potatoes and carrots, you can add or substitute any root vegetable like turnips, parsnips or sweet potatoes to the soup. These vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals that will make your soup a powerhouse of nutrition.

For our vegetarian indulgers, try a variation called vegetarian Scotch Broth. Instead of using meat-based broth recipe, use vegetable broth instead, which will give you similar flavor and texture to this hearty soup.

As for meat lovers who want to add some protein to their meal, you can include chicken or beef. Cut 1-inch cubes of meat and add them into the soup when you would add the pearl barley. The broth scottish flavors will meld beautifully with the meat for a delicious twist on tradition.

If you prefer a creamy potato soup-like consistency for your vegetable soup recipe, remove the pearl barley and switch up your onion choices by adding leeks instead. You could also puree some of the vegetables to achieve a creamy texture without adding cream.

Lastly, spice up your traditional Scottish winter root vegetable soup by adding more heat with red pepper flakes or black pepper. A dash of lemon juice also adds some tang to cut through the richness of broth traditional Scottish flavors.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with these substitutions and variations – they could lead you down a path of culinary excellence!

Serving and Pairing

 So flavourful, you'll forget it's actually good for you
So flavourful, you’ll forget it’s actually good for you

When it comes to serving and pairing this Scottish vegetable soup, the possibilities are endless. This hearty soup is perfect for a warm lunch or dinner during those chilly days of winter. It is best served hot and topped with a sprinkle of black pepper.

To complement the flavors of this soup, try pairing it with some fresh bread or croutons. The Tattie Drottle is a popular choice in Scotland, but any crusty bread will do the trick. You can also serve it with some cheese on top or a side salad for some freshness.

If you are looking to add more protein to your meal, you can also serve this soup with some grilled chicken or fish. The savory flavors of the vegetables and barley in this soup will balance nicely with the mild flavors of white fish like cod or tilapia.

This soup can also be paired with some red wine, particularly a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot. The deep berry flavors of these wines will complement the earthy flavors found in the soup.

Regardless of how you choose to pair it, this Scottish vegetable soup is sure to satisfy your cravings and warm your soul on any cold winter day.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This soup is a rainbow of colours and tastes
This soup is a rainbow of colours and tastes

As with many soups, this Scottish Vegetable Soup can be made ahead of time, stored in the fridge or freezer and reheated. It’s a perfect soup to make on a Sunday afternoon, so you’re prepared for the week ahead.

If you’re planning to make the soup ahead of time, it’s important to cool it down quickly, and once cooled, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. You can also freeze the soup for up to three months, just ensure you have space in your freezer!

When it comes to reheating the soup, there are a couple of options. You can reheat it on the stove by placing it in a pot and add some water if needed. Alternatively, you can microwave individual portions. Just remember that when reheating soup from frozen or refrigerated, heat it until piping hot throughout.

This soup is a hearty and warming meal that tastes just as good when reheated as when it was first made. So don’t worry about making too much – enjoy the leftovers!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A great way to use up vegetables that are past their prime
A great way to use up vegetables that are past their prime

When making Scottish vegetable soup, there are a few tips that will help you achieve the perfect results. First and foremost, make sure to wash and chop your vegetables properly. This ensures that they will cook evenly and add the right texture to your soup.

Another important tip is to season your soup properly. Adding salt and pepper is important but don’t forget that this recipe also calls for lemon juice which gives it a nice tanginess. Make sure you taste the soup as you go so that you can adjust the seasoning if necessary.

When it comes to cooking the pearl barley, green split peas or any other ingredients with long cooking times, it’s best to soak them overnight before use. This reduces cooking time while ensuring the ingredients are thoroughly cooked.

If you want a broth-like consistency to your soup, then use less water than called for in the recipe. However, if you prefer a thicker stew-like soup, adding more vegetables like cabbage, potatoes, and carrots can make your soup hearty and filling.

Lastly, using a slow cooker can be an efficient way to cook this traditional Scottish winter root vegetable soup especially since it simmers everything gently all day. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly when using this method and consider pre-cooking some of your ingredients beforehand.

By following these tips for perfect results, you’ll be able to produce a truly delicious Scottish vegetable soup every time!


As you try your hand at cooking this Scottish Vegetable Soup, it’s common to have questions about the recipe, ingredients or substitutions. Here are some frequently asked questions that I’ve answered along with some helpful tips and tricks for making this soup recipe perfect every time.

What is Tattie Drottle?

In this recipe, I’ll guide you through making a classic Scottish soup known as Tattie Drottle. This dish is a famous and nutritious comfort food in Scotland. It consists of potatoes boiled in milk with leeks or onions, and has roots in the traditional Scottish diet, particularly in the countryside.

What gives vegetable soup that depth of flavor?

Enhancing the taste of a soup is like adding spices to life. A little twist with a squeeze of citrus or a dollop of yogurt can transform an ordinary soup into an extraordinary delight. A sprinkling of herbs or croutons or a dusting of cheese and chile powder can uplift the overall taste of the soup. A finishing touch with a swirl of olive oil and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt can bring your soup to new heights of flavor.

How do you add richness to vegetable soup?

Enhancing the savory taste of broth can be achieved through the incorporation of certain ingredients. Roasted onion, tomato paste, mushrooms, seaweed, soy sauce, or miso are examples of additives that can impart umami flavor and enrich the broth’s depth.

Why do you put lemon juice in vegetable soup?

When preparing bean soups or rich meat-based soups that have been simmered for a long time, it’s best to add a touch of tartness towards the end of the cooking process. A small quantity of something acidic like a spritz of lemon juice can elevate the flavors and create a more balanced and vivid taste. Gradually add this ingredient and taste the soup to ensure it is just right.

Bottom Line

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In conclusion, the Scottish Vegetable Soup recipe is one that you will surely enjoy. Inspired by the traditional Scottish winter vegetable soup, this recipe is both hearty and healthy. The combination of root vegetables, pearl barley, and split peas creates a broth that is both nourishing and satisfying. This soup provides an excellent source of nutrients without compromising on taste.

Whether you are vegetarian or a meat-eater, this soup is perfect for you. The recipe can be modified to fit your dietary needs, making it a versatile meal option that everyone can enjoy. It is simple to prepare and can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.

If you are looking for a dish that will warm your belly on a chilly winter’s day or simply want to indulge in some delicious traditional Scottish cuisine, then look no further. This recipe offers an authentic taste of Scotland that has been passed down through generations.

So why not try this Scottish Vegetable Soup recipe today? You won’t be disappointed!

Scottish Vegetable Soup

Scottish Vegetable Soup Recipe

Growing up in Scotland certain things were staples in our diet. We ate a lot of root veggies because my aunt and uncle ran a farm. Herbs and spices also were not all that common when I was little. This is a very easy soup to make with the vegetables that grow very easily on the east coast of Scotland but are easily found in many grocery stores. We would eat it almost every weekend. The turnips and onion especially give it a phenomenal taste, precluding the use of stock.
Course Soup
Cuisine Scottish
Keyword < 4 Hours, Easy, Vegan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour


  • 6 cups water
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 potatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 cups rutabagas, finely chopped (you may substitute turnip)
  • 2 cups cabbage, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Place all ingredients in a large pot, bring to the boil, then simmer for an hour.
  • Add more salt and pepper if desired.


Serving: 375g

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