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27 Dec, 2021

The Ultimate Winter Broth

This soup is a combination of my two favourite soups, a scotch broth and a mushroom broth. Two, surprisingly different soups. Scotch broth is typically made with pearl barley and root vegetables and a mushroom broth tends to be clearer and made with shiitake mushrooms to give it that umami flavour. So combining the two seemed like a good idea. It brings the carby comfort of the scotch broth and the earth depth from the mushrooms.


Serves 4.


  • 200g pearl barley
  • 50g dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 200g wild assorted mushrooms
  • 200g squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 500ml veg stock
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 200g cannellini beans, drained
  • 100g cavolo nero, finely sliced


  1. Wash the pearl barley in a large saucepan until the water runs clear. Cover with three times the amount of water and cook for 20 minutes or so until it is soft but still has a bite to it.
  2. Meanwhile, soak the shiitake mushroom in warm water for 10 minutes until softened.
  3. Fry the shallots and garlic in the oil for 10 minutes or so until completely softened. Add in the wild mushrooms and sauté until golden. Add in the soaked shiitake mushrooms, squash and veg stock and bring everything to a simmer. Place the lid on a leave to cook for 20 minutes or so until the squash is almost cooked.
  4. Add in the cooked pearl barley, lemon juice and zest, cannellini beans and cavolo nero and cook for a further 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave to stand for 10 minutes before scooping into bowls and serving.