Recipes from Scotland 1680s to 1940s

Soups and broths

Soup on the table

In 1667, when the Earl of Tweeddale spent the night at a Kelso inn, broth was on the menu for both supper and breakfast.

Some years later an anonymous visitor commented on a meal served in a Trossachs inn:

'Dined at one o'clock on kale, a kind of broth, originally made of that species of cabbage but now principally of potatoes. The broth was succeeded by a small piece of corned beef, these two articles almost invariably constitute the dinner of the Highland Farmers in these parts.'
— Journal, anonymous visitor to Scotland, 1817. [Library reference: Acc.9166]

Soup gradually moved to be the usual first course in a main meal for the gentry.

In the 18th century, an assortment of dishes would be placed on the table for the first course at dinner including a tureen of soup. Diners usually helped themselves.

After the soup was eaten it would be 'removed' and replaced with something else. The 'Sagoe Soup' on the table plan shown here, from Saltoun in East Lothian, was replaced by 'a hot Ham w[i]t[h] Chikens and Spinage'.

Outline showing food dishes to be placed on table

Table plan for dinner at Saltoun, 18th century. By permission of Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun.

Culinary and household receipes of the Fletcher of Saltoun family, 18th century. [Library reference: MS.17853]

Soups and broths