Warm Your Soul With This Hearty Scottish Soup Recipe

As a lover of hearty and wholesome soups, I am excited to introduce you to my Scottish Lentil Soup recipe. This traditional Scottish dish has been a staple in my kitchen for years and is the perfect comfort food for any season.

With its rich and savory flavor, this soup is sure to warm your soul on even the coldest of days. It’s packed full of nutritious ingredients like red lentils, carrots, onions, and leeks that will leave you feeling satisfied without weighing you down. And with a touch of ham stock and garlic powder, each bite is bursting with flavor.

Not only is this Scottish Lentil Soup recipe incredibly delicious, but it’s also super easy to make. Whether you’re an experienced chef or just starting out in the kitchen, this recipe is foolproof and can be made in just under an hour. So why wait? Grab a pot and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Scottish Lentil Soup
Scottish Lentil Soup

If you’re looking for a warming and cozy dish to serve on a chilly evening, look no further than this Scottish Lentil Soup Recipe. Made with red lentils, carrots, onions, leeks, and a gammon joint or ham hock for flavor, this soup is full of heartiness and depth.

One of the things that makes this recipe so special is its traditional Scottish roots. Scottish lentil soup has been a staple in Scottish households for centuries, and for good reason. It’s the kind of food that sticks to your ribs and warms your soul, making it perfect for cold weather or even as a comfort food.

But don’t be intimidated by its cultural heritage – this soup is incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple steps and ingredients, you can have a flavorful pot of soup in under an hour. Plus, it’s versatile enough to be made vegetarian by simply switching to vegetable stock.

The combination of spices such as garlic powder, pepper, and salt alongside olive oil and water creates an unbeatable base that will warm you up from the inside out. And let’s not forget about the star ingredient: the red lentils. They give the soup a unique texture while also providing a healthy dose of protein.

But what really sets this recipe apart is how customizable it is. If you’re not a fan of gammon or ham hock, you can easily substitute it with chicken broth or vegetable stock. And if you want to experiment with different spices or vegetables, go for it! This recipe welcomes experimentation and creativity.

So whether you’re looking for something comforting and familiar or want to try something new and exciting, this Scottish Lentil Soup Recipe should definitely be on your list. Trust me – one bowl and you’ll be hooked!

Ingredient List

 A steaming bowl of comfort and warmth on a chilly winter day.
A steaming bowl of comfort and warmth on a chilly winter day.

Ingredients you need to make this delicious Scottish Lentil Soup Recipe

  • 250g Scottish red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 600 grams neep (swede), peeled and chopped
  • 200 g ham or ham hock (gammon joint)
  • 2 ham stock cubes
  • 1.5 litres of boiling water
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock (or more as needed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for frying

Note: For vegan or vegetarian lentil soup recipe version you can skip the ham and ham stock cubes.

The Recipe How-To

 Filling and flavorful, this soup is perfect for a cozy night in.
Filling and flavorful, this soup is perfect for a cozy night in.

Now that we have our ingredients at the ready, it’s time to dive into the step-by-step process of making Scottish Lentil Soup. Follow along as I guide you through each stage.

Step 1: Prepare Your Vegetables

Begin by peeling and dicing two medium-sized onions, six carrots, and two leeks. I recommend cutting your vegetables into very small pieces so that they cook evenly and quickly and blend nicely.

Step 2: Cook the Ham Hock

Place your ham hock in a large pot and cover it with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and Simmer for an hour or until the meat starts to appear tender.

Step 3: Sautee Your Vegetables

In a large pot, heat up one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in your prepared onion, carrot, and leek mixture. Then sprinkle a little bit of garlic powder, salt, and pepper over it to taste. Stir occasionally until the veggies soften and start to caramelize which should take about ten minutes.

Step 4: Add in Split Red Lentils

Add one cup of split red lentils to the pot with your sautéed onion-carrot-leek mix. Rinse the lentils first then add them along with two ham stock cubes and two liters of water.

Step 5: Boil and Simmer

Bring the entire mixture to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer uncovered for about thirty minutes while stirring occasionally until the red lentils become tender.

Step 6: Process the Soup

Once everything is well cooked, use an immersion blender or food processor to purée everything together until you get a smooth consistency soup.

Step 7: Serve Hot

Finally, serve your hot Scottish Lentil Soup with some crusty bread, croutons or cheese garnish for an added flavor.

Now that you know how to whip up this classic Scottish dish, be sure to try it out next time when you’ve got loved ones with big appetites!

Substitutions and Variations

 A classic Scottish dish that will warm both your body and soul.
A classic Scottish dish that will warm both your body and soul.

When it comes to making Scottish Lentil Soup, there are many ways to personalize the recipe and make it your own. Here are some ideas for ingredient substitutions and variations to try:

– Vegetarian: If you prefer a vegetarian version of this soup, simply omit the ham hock and use vegetable stock instead of ham stock.

– Gluten-free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free, as lentils do not contain any gluten. Just be sure to check that your stock cubes are gluten-free.

– Spice it up: If you like your soup with a bit of heat, try adding some chili powder or cayenne pepper. You could also chop up a hot pepper and add it in with the vegetables.

– Change up the vegetables: While carrots and leeks are traditional in Scottish Lentil Soup, you can use any vegetables you like. Try adding some diced potatoes or parsnips, or even some chopped kale or spinach for added nutrition.

– Use different types of lentils: This recipe calls for red lentils, but you can easily substitute other types of lentils if you prefer. Green or brown lentils will give the soup a heartier texture.

– Make it creamier: For a creamier soup, puree some of the cooked vegetables before adding the lentils. You could also stir in some heavy cream at the end if you like.

Overall, don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and techniques when making Scottish Lentil Soup. It’s a versatile recipe that can be customized to suit your tastes and dietary needs.

Serving and Pairing

 The ultimate soup to warm up from the inside out.
The ultimate soup to warm up from the inside out.

Now that the soup is ready, think about how you’re going to serve it. You can enjoy Scottish Lentil Soup in so many ways!

For a hearty meal, I suggest serving it with some crusty bread or crackers on the side. The combination of the warm soup and the crunchy texture of the bread will transport you to a cozy kitchen with a fireplace burning in the background. The soup is flavorful enough to not require any additional spices or seasonings, but feel free to add some freshly ground black pepper or garlic powder on top.

If you want to add even more texture to the dish and make it a little bit more filling, add some toppings such as croutons, grated cheese, or chopped ham. You can also add some fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro or thyme for a touch of color and freshness.

This soup pairs perfectly with a glass of fruity red wine, like Merlot or Pinot Noir. If you prefer a non-alcoholic option, try serving it with some hot apple cider, which will balance out the savory flavors beautifully.

Whether you decide to enjoy it as an appetizer or as a main course, traditional Scottish Lentil Soup is always a crowd pleaser that will keep you warm on chilly days.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 See why this hearty soup is a staple on every Scottish table.
See why this hearty soup is a staple on every Scottish table.

If you’re looking for a cozy meal that you can save for later, this Scottish lentil soup is perfect to make ahead and store in your fridge or freezer. One of the best things about this soup is that it actually gets better with time as its flavors have more time to meld together.

When making ahead or storing, allow the soup to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container. It can be stored in the fridge for up to five days or frozen for up to three months. When reheating, it’s best to defrost the soup overnight in the fridge before heating on low heat on the stovetop.

If you need a quick lunch or dinner fix and don’t have any leftovers, you can also easily reheat individual servings of the soup in the microwave or on the stove for a hearty and comforting meal. Just make sure to stir occasionally and add some additional stock, water, or seasoning if necessary.

Remember that reheated soups often need extra flavoring, so adding additional garlic powder, black pepper or salt when reheating is a good idea. Make sure not to add too much salt initially if you plan on storing and reheating later, as flavors tend to intensify when stored over time.

Overall, this easy Scottish lentil soup recipe is perfect for meal-prepping on a busy day or keeping in your freezer for those chilly nights when you don’t feel like cooking from scratch but still want something homemade and comforting.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Wholesome and delicious, you'll want to sip this soup all year long.
Wholesome and delicious, you’ll want to sip this soup all year long.

As a chef, there are some tips that I always share with anyone who wants to cook the perfect dish. After years of making the Scottish lentil soup recipe, I’ve come up with some key tips and tricks for ensuring perfect results every time. From cooking techniques to ingredient choices, these simple tips will help you take this delicious recipe to the next level.

Firstly, I strongly recommend using fresh and high-quality ingredients. The taste of Scottish lentil soup is hugely dependent on the quality of the carrots, onions, leeks, and lentils you use. Take your time when selecting these ingredients at the market or grocery store, and always opt for organic produce wherever possible.

Secondly, always ensure that you rinse your lentils thoroughly before adding them to the pot. This helps remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated during packaging or transport. Rinsing the lentils also reduces their cooking time by removing toxins and excess starches.

Thirdly, don’t be afraid to add extra spices and herbs to customize the soup according to your tastes. Garlic powder and black pepper can give an added depth of flavor to this dish. You can also add some fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary for fragrance and freshness.

Fourthly, one of the keys to making a delicious soup is in the preparation. Whenever possible, chop all of your vegetables into similar sizes for even cooking. If you have a food processor, this can be done very quickly and easily.

Finally, keep a close eye on the lentil soup while it’s cooking – especially during the last half-hour step when you add in the ham hock or vegetarian stock cubes. If you need more liquid at any point during the cooking process, add water as needed until you achieve your desired consistency.

By following these key tips for perfect results, you’ll be able to make a delicious and satisfying bowl of Scottish lentil soup that will impress everyone who tries it!


Before we wrap things up and you head over to the kitchen, let’s take a moment to address some FAQs that may cross your mind as you prepare this delicious Scottish Lentil Soup recipe. I know you want to make sure everything goes smoothly, and these answers will help quell any concerns or confusion. Let’s dive into it.

How does Gordon Ramsay make lentil soup?

For this recipe, we start by heating up some oil in a pot and sautéing some finely chopped onions and garlic until they turn a lovely golden hue. Once we have achieved that crucial level of caramelization, we add in a blend of aromatic spices along with some tangy tomato puree. We let this mixture fry for a couple of minutes, stirring it all together eagerly to make sure everything is evenly coated.
As the pot starts to fill up with flavors and aromas, we add in the star of our dish: hearty lentils! We pour in some vegetable stock, enough to cover the lentils, then bring it all to a rolling boil before lowering the heat and letting it simmer away for around 25 to 30 minutes. We keep an eye on the pot, adding more stock if necessary and stirring occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom. Once the lentils are fully cooked and completely tender, we have the option of blending the mixture slightly to create a velvety texture. The choice is yours!

Is lentil soup really good for you?

Lentil soup is indeed a healthy dish to add to your meal plan. Lentils are packed with nourishing minerals, protein, and fibre, making them a fantastic choice for vegetarians seeking protein. Moreover, lentils are low in fat, which is an added plus for those who are calorie conscious. In fact, 25% of the calories in lentils come from protein!

Can you overcook lentils in soup?

When it comes to cooking lentils, it’s important to avoid the undesirable outcome of them becoming excessively soft and mushy. This can be easily avoided by paying attention to the cooking time and the type of lentil being used. For best results, use a ratio of 1 1/2 cups of water or broth for every cup of lentils.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Scottish Lentil Soup recipe is a perfect fit for any soup lover, whether you are trying to keep things simple or experiment with variations. This recipe is easy to make, requires minimum ingredients, and has a delicious taste that everyone can enjoy.

Adding Scottish Lentil Soup to your regular menu not only saves time but is also an excellent way to get all the essential nutrients and boost energy levels. Furthermore, this soup recipe can be easily modified to fit vegetarian preferences while still retaining its robust flavor.

With just one hour of prep time and half an hour of cooking time, you’ll have a piping hot bowl of deliciously aromatic Scottish Lentil Soup ready to serve. The traditional Scottish flavor will be evident in every bite; thanks to the slow-cooked ham hock and aromatic vegetables.

So why wait? Head into the kitchen today and whip up this easy, healthy, and delicious dish. I’m sure this recipe will become a staple in your household’s menu plan for years to come.

Scottish Lentil Soup

Scottish Lentil Soup Recipe

Classic central Scotland recipe i learned from my mother in law and adapted it to my way of cooking.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Soup
Cuisine Scottish
Servings 8 bowls
Calories 263.7 kcal


  • 8 ounces ham
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 medium onion
  • 10 large carrots
  • 1 medium rutabaga
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 1 1/4 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  • cut up ham into bite size chunks
  • dice onion and leeks.
  • add oil to large soup pot and fry over medium heat until golden then add the diced ham and fry until it changes color.
  • grate rutabaga and carrots (i use my food processor) add to cooking mixture
  • add chicken stock paste (cubes or fresh stock can be used. if using fresh stock decrease water amount) salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • cover mixture with half of the water, stir and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  • taste to see if you need to add more salt or pepper
  • add red lentils and rest of the water ( a bit more water if needed ) and simmer for another 30 mins until lentils are soft.
  • Can be made ahead and frozen
  • Serve with thick cut home made bread and you have a Scottish favorate.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 380gCalories: 263.7kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 17.1gFat: 6.2gSaturated Fat: 1.2gCholesterol: 14.8mgSodium: 803mgFiber: 8.1gSugar: 8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, European, Scottish, Vegetable
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