Scottish Lentil Soup Recipe

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We are experiencing a spate of terrible storms at the moment and no lunch seems quite as fitting as a warm bowl of Scottish lentil soup to keep us cosy.

The smell of the ham hough fills the kitchen as it cooks, delighting everyone as to what’s to come and this lentil soup is really, surprisingly easy and inexpensive to make and it’s perfect to freeze, keeping for up to three months. A little trick I picked up from my grandparents is to keep a hold of those empty butter tubs as they are brilliant for holding 1-2 portions of soup and don’t take up as much space in the freezer!

I know using a ham hough (pork knuckle) won’t be for everyone, if it is, you can pick them up in the supermarket next to your other pork cuts and I have to say it does add a really nice smoky flavour but if not, this can also be replicated by using bacon if you prefer. If you are not a meat-eater, replace the ham with some veg stock.

It’s just a lovely, hearty soup. I’ve been told that it’s my best yet. I’m not sure if that’s down to the weather, but I’m somewhat inclined to agree!

Lentil Soup Recipe


Makes: 3-4 servings
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 250g Red Lentils, rinsed
  • 1 Ham Hough (Alternative – 2 Ham Stock Cubes/Vegetable Stock)
  • 2 Medium Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Medium Potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 1 Small Turnip (Swede), peeled and diced
  • 1.8-2L Water
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Chopping Board
  • Sharp Knife
  • Large Saucepan
  • Hand Blender


  1. Rinse the lentils. They do not need to be soaked, only rinsed of impurities.
  2. Add the ham hough, water (or stock if not using ham hough) and lentils to a large saucepan.
    You want the water to just cover above the ham hough.
  3. Bring the water to a boil before reducing to a simmer for approximately 1 hour.
    If using a ham hough, skim the water to remove any foam that appears when cooking.
  4. Whilst your ham is boiling; peel, cut and chop all vegetables.
  5. After 1 hour, remove the ham hough from the saucepan before adding your vegetables.
    Allow your vegetables to simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until softened.
  6. Remove from the heat and season soup with salt and pepper as required.
  7. Use a hand blender for a smoother texture.



Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

If frozen, Scottish Lentil soup can last up to 3 months, simply allow to return to room temperature and reheat before serving.

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