Is it just us, or is everyone hibernating at the moment? Cold weather, too much rain and dark nights have had left us quite happy to spend our evenings and weekends curled up on the sofa with a cuppa and a Netflix marathon.
But the frosty weather has led to us turning up the heating far too often, and with all the cosy nights in we’ve been having this month, we’ve been starting to dread our heating bill arriving – especially with Nicola having just become a homeowner! So, when we heard about the Scottish Government’s Home Energy Scotland campaign, that helps people keep warm and cosy in their homes this winter while keeping the costs down, we decided to try an think of other ways alternative other way to keep toasty.
We think there’s nothing better to turn up the heat than a warming bowl of our Granny Bab’s Homemade Scotch Broth – passed down from our great granny, to our gran, then to our mum and finally us, we think we’ve managed to create it pretty well. It’s just like a big hug in a bowl!
- 3 large carrots
- 1 large onion
- 1 small turnip
- 1 large potato
- 1 leek
- Large cup of dried scotch broth mix
- Small cup of dried butter beans
- 1 ham hock on the bone (ask at the butcher counter)
- Ham stock cube (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- Soak the dried broth mix and butter beans in a bowl of hot water overnight, or at least for a few hours.
- Place the ham hock in a large pot of water (around 1.5 litres), bring to the boil and then cook over a very low heat for at least two hours, removing any film from the top of the pan every so often.
- Chop up the vegetables roughly and add to the pot along with the bay leaves and seasoning (if you want extra ham flavouring you can add your stock cube here but we think it’s pretty good without!) Bring up to a simmer and then lower the heat and cook for another hour until the veggies are soft. Continue to remove any film from the pot as needed.
- Add the broth mix and butter beans and continue to cook over a low heat until the pulses are soft.
- The ham should now fall apart when touched – take it out of the pot and remove any fat, them break it up to distribute throughout the soup. You can throw away the bone now (although our dog McGee might have other ideas about that…)
- Serve with a big slab of crusty bread and plenty of butter, then curl up on the sofa with your slippers on and get tucked in!
A couple more bowls of the good stuff and we’ll definitely be turning the thermostat down. We’ll also be checking out Home Energy Scotland from the Scottish Government at www.homeenergyscotland.org, for clear and impartial advice in making our homes as warm and cosy and can be, including ideas on how better to insulate our homes and advice about replacing our boilers.