Kale and Potato Scotch Broth

bowls of kale and potato scotch broth with wholemeal rolls

I like to have comfort food when it’s cold and dreary outside. Something that’s warm and tasty, but also nutritious. That’s when I make soup. While soup may be seen as a starter or light meal, Kale and Potato Scotch Broth will fill you up and warm you from the inside out. It’s super easy to make – simply chop, sauté and simmer. Like many classic recipes this one doesn’t depend on exact weights, just remember to taste and adjust seasoning or ingredients as you go.

The foundation of a hearty soup begins with a mirepoix, a classic combination of chopped onions, carrots, and celery, which forms the base of many stocks, soups, sauces and stews. To this, add a plant-based stock and you have the foundation to build your Scotch broth from. Scotch broth has always been a plant powered bowl of whole grains, pulses and vegetables.

Pearl barley is a staple in Scotch broth recipes, the addition of split peas and lentils is common in many broth and soup mixes. These add texture, flavour and make this a nutritionally well rounded meal. But as I said, this recipe is a framework for creativity or a chance to use up vege from the fridge. Leeks add a sweatness if added to the mirepoix, or add some diced neeps aka swede or rutabaga.

Kale and Potato Scotch Broth

Serves 6-8


  • 1 cup of soup mix
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 stem celery
  • 1 medium carrot
  • olive oil, dairy free butter or stock
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1-2 cups kale
  • 1.5-2 L chicken style or vegetable stock
  • seasoning


For time saving tips see cook’s notes

Wash, peel and finely dice onion, celery, carrots, cube potatoes and remove kale form stems if they are tough and thinly slice.

In a large pot, heat a couple of tablespoons of your chosen sauté medium (olive oil, dairy-free butter, or stock for a no-oil option) over medium heat, sauté the mirepoix until it is soft and the onion becomes translucent.

Make you choice of stock according to the packet instructions and add to the soup pot with the soup mix and potato.

Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the soup mix and potatoes are tender.

In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the thinly sliced kale to the soup, check the seasoning, adjust to taste.

To SErve
a cutting board with a dozen wholemeal bread rolls

A hot bowl of soup is even better with fresh bread to dunk in it. These rolls are made with the Wholemeal and Sunflower Seed Bread recipe, dusted with flour instead of seeds before baking.
With an everyday bread you can use portions of dough to make bread daily. However, if you want a loaf in a hurry, a soda bread is a yeast free alternative or you could try some savoury drop biscuits, which you could bake while the soup simmers. For an extra Scottish touch, a tattie scone has always been a favourite of mine.

Cook’s Notes

For a speedier cook time, soak the soup mix in cold water ahead of time.
A mirepoix can be pre prepared or batch cooked and frozen in portions.
Potatoes can be peeled, cubed and stored under cold water to prevent them browning.
A crock pot is perfect for a long slow cook, keeping soup warm for people to help them selves through the day. A pressure cooker or instapot will speed up the cooking process if everyone is hungry.

If you aren’t familiar with soup or broth mix, it’s a combination pearl barley, yellow and green split peas, red split lentils and occasionally marrow fat peas. Readily available throughout the UK, Canada, Australia and NZ or you can create you own.

For a gluten free Kale and Potato Scotch Broth choose an appropriate stock and either omit the pearl barley or use a gluten free grain instead; buckwheat has a nutty taste and a chewy texture making ideal as a pearl barley substitute.

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