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Vegan Scotch Broth Bowl

Easy Vegan Scotch Broth (Scottish Barley Soup)

The Pesky Vegan
This vegan Scotch broth is the next stop on my voyage to veganise traditional Scottish recipes. Hearty, filling, and healthy, it's a delicious seasonal soup to keep you warm during the winter months.
4.91 from 10 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Soup
Cuisine Scottish, Vegan
Servings 4
Calories 254 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 leek, washed, trimmed, cut lengthways, and sliced
  • 1 small swede, peeled and diced
  • 1.5-2 litres vegan stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100 g pearl barley, rinsed
  • 50 g dried red split lentils, rinsed
  • 100 g sliced kale or cabbage
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and greener half of the sliced leek (saving the whiter parts to add towards the end of cooking). Season with salt and pepper and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the veg has softened and starts to get a hint of colour on it.
  • Next, add in the diced swede, vegan stock (1.5 litres), soy sauce, dried sage, and bay leaves. Bring to a gentle simmer then stir in the barley and red lentils. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer gently for 30-40 mins or until the barley is tender.
  • Once the barley is tender, add in the kale and the sliced white parts of the leek. Push the veg down into the broth and stir well. If necessary, top up with extra vegan stock (I usually add 300-500 ml here to help submerge everything). Simmer for around 5 minutes or until the kale and leeks are tender.
  • Once cooked, try the soup and add any extra salt, pepper, and/or soy sauce to taste, and serve.


Serving suggestions: Enjoy this soup on its own or along with oatcakes or fresh crusty bread. Top it off with chopped parsley, vegan Worcestershire sauce, or even a drop of homemade vegan cream.
Rinsing: It is recommended to rinse dried pulses and grains before cooking to remove any possible dirt or debris. You can do this quickly in a colander under running water.
Broth mix: You can easily replace the barley and lentils with similar amounts of pre-prepared broth mix (you may want to soak this first – see package instructions).
More flavour: I like the subtleness of the flavours in this recipe, but you could try adding big hitters like yeast extract, smoked paprika, and garlic powder if you want it to pack more of a punch.
Veg: Feel free to throw in any other veg you have lying around. Celery, parsnip, turnip, and potato would all work well.
Kale: If you don't have kale, you can easily swap this out for sliced cabbage or shredded Brussels sprouts.
Gluten-free: If you want to make this soup gluten-free, you can try replacing the barley with GF grains such as buckwheat or quinoa, or simply add in more dried pulses. You’ll also want to use a GF soy sauce (or tamari) and vegan stock that are certified or labelled as such.
Storage: You can store this soup in the fridge for up to four days or freezer for up to six months. The barley will continue to thicken, so you may want to add extra liquid when reheating.
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* The nutrition info below is for one serving, based on a total of four servings. 


Calories: 254kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 10gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 846mgPotassium: 803mgFiber: 12gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 7964IUVitamin C: 61mgCalcium: 123mgIron: 3mg
Nutrition Facts
Easy Vegan Scotch Broth (Scottish Barley Soup)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 254 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 0.5g3%
Sodium 846mg37%
Potassium 803mg23%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 12g50%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 7964IU159%
Vitamin C 61mg74%
Calcium 123mg12%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword healthy vegan recipe, scottish vegan recipe, vegan barley soup
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