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Hotch Potch Scottish Lamb Soup/Stew

Hotch Potch is a gloriously light yet hearty Scottish lamb stew, my version is made with lamb neck chops & is packed with spring vegetables.

Despite a fairly long cooking time (a little over 90 minutes), this delicious recipe is really easy to make and it is a firm favourite springtime meal in our house.

Hotch potch soup or harvest broth with lamb and vegetables with buttered bread.

Hairst Bree or Harvest Broth

Hotch potch is yet another fine example of idiosyncratic names for British recipes… I love them and collect them like Boy Scout badges!

Toad in the hole, cock a leekie soup, bubble and squeak, bangers and mash and of course spotted dick, all make me feel very happy deep inside! And that’s even before I’ve eaten them!

This recipe is a very simple and outrageously simple soup or stew, and it hails from Scotland.

It dates back at least 300 years and probably much longer and is also often known as hairst bree, which translates to “harvest broth”.

Traditionally loads of different meats would have been thrown in the pot to make a heavy broth. Then whatever veggies were in season would have been tossed in.

Today it is most commonly associated with lamb, and who am I to argue, it’s my favourite meat!

My version scales it back to serve two, as a hearty main or 4 if you wanted a starter or lunch over a couple of days.

Overhead close-up hotch potch soup or harvest broth with lamb and vegetables.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use different cuts of lamb?

Yes, although this recipe is all about using up some cheaper cuts of meat and any meat in the recipe is a by-product of this.

But in reality, you could use any cut of lamb on the bone. If you are using a larger cut you will need to simmer it for longer.

Can I use different vegetables?

Yes, you could use anything that you have lying around. Naturally, if you are using harder root vegetables then they need to go in at the same time as the carrots.

This is traditionally a “spring/summer” dish, hence the cabbage, lettuce and broad beans.

Can I use frozen broad beans?

Yes, please do, they are awesome and I always have them in the freezer.

Do I have to remove the skins from the broad beans?

Yes, they are horrible to eat, it does take a little time, and if you are using frozen beans you will need to defrost them first.

Can a different herb to mint be used?

Yes, again use what you have and what you like. Mint and lamb has a great affinity, however, parsley, chives, tarragon and even coriander would all be jolly nice.

Overhead hotch potch soup or harvest broth with lamb and vegetables with buttered bread.

Serving Suggestions

Hotch potch is most often served as a soup and a good wedge of bread never goes a miss.

If I were to bake a loaf of bread to serve with this, I would choose a soda bread. Mainly because I have a complicated relationship with baking and soda bread is the easiest bread to make at home.

However, I am rather fond of serving this as a stew I serve all of the veggies in a large bowl with just a splash of cooking liquid and then add a mash (as pictured below).

My favourite mash to serve with this is a Scottish clapshot, a simple swede and potato mash, but celeriac mash works wonders too!

Hotch potch soup or stew with lamb and vegetables served with clapshot.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Hob/stovetop.
  • 24cm or 10″ saucepan with a lid.
  • Colander.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • A combination of weighing scales, a measuring jug or measuring cups and spoons.
Scottish hotch potch a spring lamb soup or stew served with buttered bread.
Yield: 2 Servings

Hotch Potch Recipe Scottish Lamb Stew

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

This hotch potch recipe is my take on a Scottish "spring" soup or stew, a broth is made by simmering lamb neck chops which is then strained and then cabbage, lettuce, carrots broad beans and fresh mint are added to make a hearty but light and delicious meal.


  • 6 (650-700g total) Bone in Lamb Neck Chops
  • 1-1½ Litres Water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Tsp Salt Plus Extra to Taste
  • 1 Medium (150g) Onion
  • 150g (1 Medium) Carrot
  • 150g (2 Cups) Sweetheart or Hispi Cabbage
  • 1 Little Gem Lettuce
  • 150g (1 Cup) Broad Beans
  • 20g (½ Cup) Fresh Mint


  1. Add the lamb neck chops to the bottom of a 24cm (10") saucepan and pour over enough water to cover them by just over 1 cm (½").
  2. Cut the onion in half, peel it and toss it into the pan along with the salt and the bay leaf.
  3. Turn the heat to medium and bring the pot to a simmer, then reduce the heat and cook for an hour, skimming off any foam/scum that forms every 15 minutes or so. It is important that the water does not boil during this cooking process.
  4. Cut the carrot into rounds 2-3mm (⅛") rounds.
  5. Remove the central stalk from the cabbage and finely shred it,
  6. Trim the bottom of the little gem lettuce, cut it in half, and finely shred it.
  7. Peel the leathery skins from the broad beans.
  8. Roughly chop the fresh mint.
  9. Strain the cooking broth from the lamb into a bowl, wipe out the pan, then return the stock to the pan, setting aside the lamb to cool a little and discard the onion and bay leaf.
  10. Bring the stick to a boil and reduce it in volume by around 25%.
  11. Taste the broth and add a little more salt if required, then throw in the shredded cabbage and carrots, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  12. When the meat has cooled enough to handle strip it from the bones and discard any fat and gristle. You will only end up with around 150-200g of meat, don't worry this recipe is all about getting the flavour from the bones.
  13. Throw in the shredded baby gem lettuce, fresh mint, broad beans and the lamb, then cook for a final 3-5 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 677Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 197mgSodium: 1584mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 10gSugar: 9gProtein: 57g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

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