This Scottish Tattie Soup recipe is very simple, nourishing, filling and cheap as chips to make. It’s perfect for warming you up on a chilly day!
Every single person in the world who makes tattie soup will have a different recipe/method for making it. I actually grew up in a broth loving house and I don’t recall having tattie soup all that much when I was little. This is simply my take on the classic recipe.
We definitely had that famous Scottish classic mince and tatties at least once a week! It was a staple in our house.
Just about everyone in Scotland will recall their Mother/Granny/Auntie making tattie soup in a different way. There is no “correct” recipe. It has been adapted and passed down through the generations. Just like most recipes!
What food do you remember from your childhood?
scottish tattie soup recipe
Tattie soup is very simple, but nonetheless delicious and very comforting to eat. You need to mash some of the tatties into the soup to achieve the right texture.
Don’t go overboard with the mashing – you definitely still want some large chunks. This is how my lovely mother in law made it. And now I make it for my husband and my boys. It’s like a hug in a bowl to them.
Whenever the weather starts to turn cold, I make a big pan of this tattie soup. It keeps us going for a few days.
You know when you come home from work or from a walk in the Wintertime and you feel cold and weary? A hot, steaming bowl of soup is guaranteed make you feel better and warm you from the inside out.
If you’re looking for something to serve alongside this soup, my easy soft white sandwich loaf would be perfect. Or if you get your hands on them, Scottish white rolls or crumbly oatcakes would be even more appropriate!
ingredients for making tattie soup
scottish tattie soup recipe
(scroll to the bottom of the post to find printable recipe card with detailed instuctions)
Making tattie soup requires the simplest of ingredients. All you need is:
- 8-10 large Potatoes – the floury kind. Waxy, new potatoes will not work in this recipe.
- 3-4 Carrots. You could also add a little diced turnip. I always use a “swede” – commonly known as “neep” in Scotland. If I have any, I would probably use about half a small one.
- 1 large Leek
- 1 Onion
- 1.5-2 litres chicken, lamb or vegetable stock – Tattie soup was traditionally made with a mutton shank, beef bones or a piece of boiling beef. Making your own stock from meat or bones gives the very best flavour, but if you don’t have any meat you can use ready made stock. I like those stock pots you can buy in all the supermarkets. If you don’t have/can’t get stock pots, a stock cube will also be fine!
- Oil and butter. Now I know this is not traditional at all, but I do like to “sweat” the vegetables to add a little flavour to the soup. This is entirely optional, but if you’re just using a stock cube, it definitely adds that extra “something”. However, if you’re making the soup with meat bones or a piece of beef, you can disperse with this step.
tattie soup made with boiling beef
Some people make tattie soup with a piece of boiling beef or a lamb shank. Boiling beef is pretty inexpensive and will give your soup a fantastic flavour. If you make tattie soup with meat, you’ll need to give a a long, slow cook – at least two hours. The cooked meat can be shredded up and added to the soup at the end. Just make sure you add enough water to completely submerge the meat – you might need up to 3 litres.
using meat bones for tattie soup
If you would like to try this recipe with leftover meat bones, it’s very easy but it does take longer to cook. Your local butcher will probably give you the meat bones for next to nothing, if you ask him nicely! All you need to do is place the bones (and you could certainly use a leftover chicken carcass if you like) in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil.
Using a slotted spoon, remove any scum that rises to the surface and simmer for around 1 1/2-2 hours (longer is better.) Add the vegetables and simmer for about one hour or until the tatties and vegetables are soft. Remove the bones from the pot, discard and break up the tatties with a potato masher – this will give you the proper texture.
how long does tattie soup last?
Tattie soup will keep in the fridge for three or four days. Due to the starch in the tatties, it thickens up a lot so you will need to add more water or stock on reheating and re-adjust the seasoning.
Tattie soup is fantastic for freezing – I always have a supply stashed away, ready to defrost and serve on a freezing cold day! Store the completely cooled soup in freezer friendly tubs and freeze for up to three months. Take it out of the freezer the day before you want to eat and defrost overnight in the fridge.
That’s all there is to it. Not only is it incredibly simple, it’s also very budget friendly too!
A bowl of this nourishing, healthy soup on a cold Winters night will warm you from the inside out.
did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or if you have any questions or need any help with the recipe, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
If you would rate the recipe by clicking on the stars in the recipe card, I would really appreciate it. Happy cooking!
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Looking for more classic Scottish recipes?
How to make old fashioned Scottish Tattie Soup. Simple, cheap to make and very nourishing!
- 25g Butter
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 1 Large Leek, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 Carrots, diced into small pieces
- 8-10 Large potatoes, peeled and roughly cut into chunks
- 1.5-2 Litres Hot Chicken, lamb, beef or Vegetable Stock OR a piece of boiling beef/lamb shank (see recipe notes below)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add the vegetables, give them a stir and season with salt and pepper. Cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the veg starts to soften a little. Pour in the chicken or vegetable stock, cover and simmer gently for 1/1 1/2 hours or until the vegetables are soft and the potatoes are starting to break up. If you’re using a piece of boiling beef or lamb shank, simply place ALL the ingredients in the pan, top up with enough water to cover everything, bring to the boil then turn down the heat and gently simmer for around 2-2 1/2 hours, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface, You’ll need to taste the soup to check if it needs some stock for flavour, but the beef/lamb should add enough flavour as it is.
- Using a potato masher, mash the tatties up, but not to much – you still want some large tattie lumps. If the soup is too thick for your liking just add some water to thin it down.
- Check the seasoning and serve with fresh bread or oatcakes.
Diced swede (commonly known as “neep” in Scotland!) is also lovely in Tattie soup. I usually use about half a small one.
Softening the veg in the butter and oil at the beginning is not essential - you could simply just place all the ingredients in pot and leave them to simmer - but I find it adds a little extra flavour to the soup. Plus when did adding butter to anything ever hurt, right? My Granny never did it, so hopefully she'll forgive me for deviating from tradition!
If you would like to try this recipe with leftover meat bones, it's very easy but it does take longer to cook. All you need to do is place the bones in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil.
Using a slotted spoon, remove any scum that rises to the surface and simmer for around 1 1/2 -2 hours (longer is better.) Add the vegetables and simmer for about one hour or until the tatties and vegetables are soft. Don't forget to break up the tatties with a potato masher - this will give you the proper texture.
If you've used a piece of meat, you can shred it into the soup or slice it up and serve with potatoes and vegetables - or do what my Great Granny did - use it up in sandwiches!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 427Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 179mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 6gSugar: 4gProtein: 24g
Any nutritional information shown is the estimated nutritional information per serving.
I’m making this on Saturday as it’s getting too cold!! X
It’s definitely soup weather now Melanie! 🙂
I can see why you crave this soup, it sounds so hearty and warming. I’m sure I’ll be making your Tattie Soup very soon. ?
It’s a bit like a thinner version of Dutch ‘hutspot’, or boiled carrots, onions and potatoes mashed together. Lovely winter(y) flavours. Sounds and looks delicious.
Thank you! My husbands aunt makes this and brings us it down for the freezer from Scotland when she visits but wouldn’t give me the recipe so I could get the ratio right. This however is perfect! Added a couple of oatcakes on the side and it tasted like my childhood in the Highlands!
Ah ? happy belly soup. My mum would cook a ham in it as the stock. We’d have the cooked ham for dinner with mash and cabbage that night and then the soup the following – I admit to adding a handful of split red lentils and some parsnip to bulk it out.
That sounds so good Lucy. I often make a lentil soup with a ham hock or just a gammon joint, it’s perfect for when the weather turns colder.
This reminds me of my Scottish Grandmother. I will be making soon but I’ll add some chopped celery.
I’m sure would be a great addition – hope you enjoy!?
I made this last night in my Instant Pot. I didn’t want to wait and hour and a half to try it. LOL. I added some garlic and shredded rotisserie chicken. It was fantastic! I will definitely be making it again.
Thank you Kristina – I’m so glad you enjoyed! It’s such a great adaptable recipe.
I was married to Scotsman for many year until he passed. This soup is delicious. I have haggis when ever I see hem in the supermarket, but your haggis cottage pie sounds wonderful. Will try that next time.
Thanks Phyllis, I’m glad you enjoyed the soup. Hope you like the pie too. Let me know if you try it!
I haven’t lived in Scotland for 22 years now and miss it every day but coming across this website has been a great help as I’m not a cook of any kind yet decided to try and make some homeland food and your website made it so easy for me.
Thank you so very much. Charlotte
Hi Charlotte, I’m so delighted you find my blog helpful. Thank you so much!
This recipe …simple though it may be…had my mouth salivating. Soup is my dish of choice for lunch, dinner or supper…did I say elevenses?? I immediately went into the kitchen and have now a HUGE pot (some for now and some for the freezer) on the go. So looking forward to this with some fresh crusty bread. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Yours Aye..JH
Hi Joan, I’m so glad you love the soup. I often find myself having a bowl for lunch and dinner too! I must make some again soon. Thanks for your lovely feedback!
Many thanks for posting. This is the same recipe my family used, but with the addition of a few broken up slices of square sausage, (scottish of course). It is basically a thinner version of stovies made with square sausage (steak slice). Delicious. 🙂
Re my earlier post, in our version of stovies we would omit the leek, but definitely keep it in the soup. 🙂
You’re very welcome Ted, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Adding square sausage sounds delicious – great idea!
Just found your soup recipe & had to try for my Scottish roots! It’s delicious!
Thank you so much Nancy! I’m really glad you enjoyed it.
I always fry some bacon first then fry the leek and potatoes in the bacon fat. I don’t put carrots though.?
I’m so trying to get this tattie soup right after my mum nan and great nan all got it right but I can’t tried again. Today and seemed as if the carrots and liquid separated Iv tried slow cooker and tried on cooker today I used bacon in water for stock put in chopped leek and grated carrot and potatoes just can’t get it right
So happy to see the Tattie Soup recipe
My Mum made it often as it was one of Dad’s favorites. Cannae hae a meal withoot a tattie! Thank you so much!
Have you tried chopping the carrots into fairly small dice instead of grating them? And how big are the potato chunks? It’s really important to keep them fairly large to get the right consistency. Have you tried using a stock cube instead?
Tattie Soup: This is a fantastic soup so easy to make with just a few ingredients. It tastes just like my mother’s when I was growing up in Glasgow many moons ago.
I’ve made it a few times since discovering this site and have been told by my husband not to change it…it’s just perfect.
Thank you Nickki.
Hi Eleanor, this makes me very happy. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I’m so glad you and your husband like the soup!
Been making this for many years but with homemade broth from marrow bones. Very rich flavour. I also grate the carrots, only b/c that’s how my mother in law did it. 😀 Everyone loves this soup.
It’s so comforting, isn’t it?
My Mom is from Peterhead and my Dad’s Mom was from there as well. We were brought up eating Scotch Broth and Tattie Soup. My Mom’s is made using a piece of boiled beef and then the rest of your ingredients. These are still my favourite soups to make. Heaven.
You can’t beat them! Pure comfort food.
Wonderful! Thanks, even my kids like it.
Yay, I’m so pleased!
Hi I have been making this soup with a ham hock on the stove but i was wondering if i could make it in the slow cooker & for how long.
Hi Yes you can make it in the slow Cooker – around 8-10 hours on low would be perfect 🙂
We always add neeps (swede) to tattie soup.
Am having abdominal op. Only allowed soup for 3 months so i will really enjoy this. Thank you for the recipe
You’re very welcome. Hoping everything goes well with the operation and you have a speedy recovery
Your page is an absolute gem of a find!! I work overseas and just reading your recipes puts a big smile on my face and takes me back home. Have tried most of your recipes all are delicious. Thank you
Hi Scott, I’m so pleased you’re enjoying the recipes! I’m delighted to bring you a taste of home, thank you so much for your lovely comment 🙂
This was a regular in our house when I was growing up. I’m still making it now 50 odd years on. Am in fact eating some now and the rest is in the freezer. I also add celery if I have any in the fridge when I’m making it
What do you mean by “tip in the vegetables”? I’ve never heard that term before.
It just means add them to the pan:-)
Just how my Scottish mother and granny made it. Specially wonderful during the war when I was four!