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hotch potch soup

Hairst Bree – Hotch Potch Soup

Hairst bree is Gaelic Scottish for ‘harvest broth’ and is also known as hotch potch. It is traditionally made with mutton or lamb neck, although you can use lamb shanks if you prefer. The vegetables in this soup tend to be anything which is in season locally. Hairst bree is a hearty, substantial dish, and it would have been filling and comforting for outdoor workers after a cold day in the highlands. This chunky dish is part soup and part stew, or ‘stoup’ if you like. Lamb is a natural choice in a country where sheep are numerous and often fare better in the harsh climate than cattle, thanks to their warm wool.

We are using swede (rutabaga), carrots, spring onions, beans, peas, cauliflower, and lettuce to make this, although you may substitute any other vegetables depending what is in season and available locally. Consider broccoli instead of the cauliflower, or potatoes instead of the carrots. Fresh mint and parsley also go into the dish, and both of those combine beautifully with the hearty lamb flavour, and suit the dish well.

A lot of Scottish cooks will keep this simmering away for a large part of the day, but you might prefer to cook it until the vegetables are ‘just’ tender rather than until they are only just holding together. Ladle generous servings of this hairst bree into mugs or bowls and serve piping hot. This is a robust soup which is filling enough to pass for an evening meal, rather than a mere appetiser or snack. Consider serving some crusty rustic bread on the side which can be used to sop up every last drop of this flavour-packed soup. Continue reading

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, my name is Christine and I would like to welcome you to TeaTime Recipes. Tea has always been a favourite of mine and I adore the tradition of serving this wonderful beverage with all kinds of little snacks both sweet and savoury. Read More