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Hotch Potch Soup

2 pounds lamb meat and bones
2 small rutabagas, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
6 green onions (with green), chopped
1 cup fresh (or frozen) broad beans
2 cups fresh (or frozen) green peas, in 2 piles of 1 cup quantities
1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
1 small hearty lettuce, shredded
2 teaspoons mint, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper
Garnish: chopped parsley

In a large saucepan, cover the lamb and bones with salt water, bring to a boil--skimming scum as necessary--reduce heat, cover, and simmer for an hour. Remove lamb and bones when done--cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and reserve, discarding bones and gristle.

Bring the stock to a boil and add the rutabaga, carrots, onions, beans, and 1 cup of peas. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1½ hours. Add the cauliflower pieces, the reserved meat, the lettuce, the rest of the peas, mint, sugar, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.

When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and stir in the fresh parsley.

In 1819, J. G. Lockheart observed about Hotch-Potch that it is, "Also called Hairst Bree, meaning harvest broth...a truly delicious soup, quite peculiar to Scotland." Indeed, it was considered quite special to the Scots as it meant all fresh vegetables and freshly slaughtered meat at summer's end were packed into a light broth for a wonderfully fresh soup. It's quite attractive, with white, bright orange, and dark green vegetable chunks, redolent of lamb and fresh herbs. And it's substantial--the very soul of comfort after a cold day on the highlands. Serve hot as a meal to 4-6 people.

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