SCOTCH BROTH (barley soup, about two quarts, serving six)



For the lamb stock:

the uncooked bones and scraps from a boned leg of lamb (instead of buying a butterflied leg of lamb already boned, buy a whole leg and have the butcher bone it for you. Tell him you want to take the bones and scraps)

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large stalk celery, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, mashed

1 imported bay leaf

¼ teaspoon rosemary or thyme

For the vegetable garnish:

a little chicken stock, if needed

½ cup barley or lentils, or 1-1/2 cups almost-cooked white beans, or 1-1/2 cups canned beans

½ cup diced onions or leeks

½ cup diced turnips

½ cup diced carrots

1 cup diced tomato pulp (fresh or canned)

2 or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley



1. Chop or saw the bones into convenient-size pieces, arrange in a roasting pan with the chopped carrot and onion and brown 30 to 40 minutes in the upper third level of a 425* oven, turning and basting with accumulated fat once or twice. Drain out fat and transfer the bones and vegetables to a stockpot. Pour a cup of water into the roasting pan and simmer on top of the stove for a moment of two, scraping coagulated juices into the liquid. Pour the liquid into the stockpot with the bones.

2. Add water to cover ingredients by an inch and bring to a simmer. Skim off accumulated scum for several minutes, salt and pepper the stock lightly, and add the chopped celery, garlic, bay leaf and rosemary or thyme. Cover loosely and simmer 3 to 4 hours, or until you feel you have gotten the best out of your bones. Add water as needed to keep the ingredients covered. Strain the stock and degrease it. Wash out the stockpot and return the stock to it.

3. Bring the degreased stock to a simmer – you should have about 2 quarts. Add a little chicken stock if needed. Add the barley, lentils or beans (if you are using canned beans, do not add them here. Wait and add them at the end with the tomatoes and parsley), and the onions or leeks, turnips and carrots. Cover loosely and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Taste carefully and correct seasoning. May be completed a day in advance up to this point. When cool, cover and refrigerate.

4. Bring the soup to a simmer, fold in the diced tomato and parsley (add canned beans, drained and rinsed, here). Simmer a moment more, correct seasoning again and serve.

NOTE: Julia would not approve, but I’ve made this soup under duress using cooked bones from a roasted leg of lamb and it was perfectly edible.


adapted from Julia Child, The Way to Cook

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