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 Scotch 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!
The basic recipe usually includes potatoes, onion, leek, carrots and sometimes celery or neep. They are simmered together with stock or a piece of meat, such as boiling beef or mutton.
What food do you remember from your childhood?
Scottish 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 to 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 Scottish tattie soup
Scroll to the bottom of the post to find a printable recipe card with detailed instructions!
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 well in this recipe.
- 3-4 Carrots. You could also add a little peeled and diced “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 dispense with this step.
how to make Scottish tattie soup
1. Peel and chop the potatoes into large chunks. Peel and finely chop the onion, carrots and slice the leek.
2. Add the butter and oil to a large saucepan and melt over a low-medium heat.
3. Add the chopped onion, carrots and leek to the pan and stir to coat everything in the oil. Season with a little salt and pepper, cover the pan and cook on a very gentle heat for about 8-10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened but not browned.
4. Add the tattie chunks and the stock. Bring to a gentle boil, then turn the heat down to low-medium, cover with a lid and cook for around an hour, or until the vegetables are very soft and the tatties have broken up.
5. Take a potato masher and break up the tatties, but don’t go overboard – you want to keep some large chunks. Check to see if you want to add more seasoning, then serve!
scottish potato soup variations
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 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
If you would like to try tattie soup 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!
A bowl of this nourishing, healthy soup on a cold Winters night is proper comfort food that won’t break the bank!
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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- 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. Cover with a lid and “sweat” over a low heat for 8-10 minutes or until the veg starts to soften a little. Don’t allow it to turn brown. Pour in the chicken or vegetable stock, cover and simmer gently for around one hour 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.