This recipe is perhaps the most controversial I’ve written because every grannie had their own recipe. Whether you go vegetarian or add lamb you can really make it your own. I find if your going to add meat, chicken or beef works best because some people find the lamb flavour too strong. Arguably, you could add game to this soup as it is a soup you can imagine a highlander “scraning” together what they had.
Vegetables are another matter, and to that end, the variations are almost endless. Carrots, leeks and swede seem to unite most, however cabbage and onion are more traditional and often are not included. I find kale or spring greens, depending on the season, add more of an earthliness. Curly parsley is a favourite but I feel it takes more away from the dish. I also like to sometimes add potatoes. If you are adding potatoes, cube them and add for the last 20-30 minutes to stop them breaking down in the soup.
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
150g of pearl barley
50g of green split peas
50g of yellow split peas
50g of red lentils
1 Large leek
Half a Swede
100g of Kale/Spring Greens/Savoy Cabbage
1.5 Litres of Vegetable Stock
Salt and Pepper
Chicken leg or a piece of bone in lamb or beef (optional)
- Begin by washing the split peas, lentils and barley and then add to a large stock pot.
- Peel and dice the swede into cubes. Slice the leek down the middle and then slice into chunks. Dice the carrot into cubes the same size as the swede. Add all to the pot.
- Add the stock and the meat if adding to the recipe. Simmer for one and a half hours. Check every 20 minutes because you may need to add more water.
- Slice the kale removing any thick stems and add to the pot for 30 minutes. Do the same if using spring greens or Savoy cabbage
- Remove from the heat. Salt and pepper to taste.