Kjötsúpa - Traditional Icelandic Lamb soup/stew
The following is one variation, which I have tried to make as authentic as possible. The measurements are not meant to be taken too seriously, and should be varied according to taste and availability of ingredients.
I have marked the absolutely necessary ingredients with an asterisk (*). These are only necessary for authenticity – part of the fun is coming up with your own preferred recipe.
Cooking time: approximately 60 minutes.
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes.
- 1 1/2 litre water (less if you want a stew)
- 500 g lamb or mutton pieces on the bone
- 1/2 medium onion sliced or coarsely chopped
- 100 g white cabbage, head halved and sliced across into thin strips
- 2 medium carrots, sliced across or coarsely julienned
- 50 ml rice (brown or white) or rolled oats
- 1/2 small rutabaga (a turnip or kohlrabi may be used instead, but taste will be slightly different), cut into bite-sized or smaller cubes (if you dislike the taste, use anyway and discard after use. Rutabagas add a special flavour note to the soup stock)
- some cauliflower, divided into florets
- leeks, sliced
- potatoes, in bite-size cubes; or if small and new, whole with skin
- some finely chopped kale
Bring the water to the boil. Rinse the meat with cold water and drop in the boiling water. Lower temperature to medium. Allow meat to cook for about 2-3 minutes. Skim off the scum and add salt. Cook for about 30 minutes. Add rice/oats (if using). Lower temperature and cook on low for about 10 minutes. Add carrots, onion, cabbage, cauliflower, rutabaga, potatoes, kale and leeks (if using). Cook for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Skim off fat before serving.
- Serve the meat on a platter with potatoes. Some people will eat the meat and potatoes first, others will cut them up and return to the soup. Some people also add milk just before serving.
- Remove the meat and potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces and return to the soup before serving.
- if you are using mutton, double the cooking time, add rice after 1 1/2 hour and the remaining ingredients 10 minutes later.
- use brown rice instead of white and cook with the meat the whole time.
- if you can get freshly harvested organic potatoes, cook and eat them with the skin.
- some cooks sauté the meat before cooking - it adds more flavour to the soup.
- you can make the soup with bones and veggies, and serve as a starter.
- try using powdered coriander and/or saffron in the soup - it adds a wonderful middle-eastern style flavour.
- Some cooks use bouillon cubes/powder for added flavour, others rely on getting enough taste from the meat.
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