Neep and tattie soup is a delicious soup made with potatoes and turnip. Made with winter vegetables, it is the perfect warming soup for a cold day.
January 25th is Burns Night, a celebration of the life of Robert Burns, a Scottish poet. In Scotland Burns Night will be celebrated with a Burns Supper. It is a time to celebrate Scottish heritage and traditional Scottish fare is served. The star of the meal is haggis, normally served with neeps and tatties or swede and potatoes. The haggis has such a starring part that it is piped in by bagpipes and then the host recites the address to the haggis.
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm
While I have some Scottish roots in the family and have visited Scotland many times I have never attended a Burns Night. Our most recent visit to Scotland was a trip to the Highlands for a wedding. It is a gorgeous place and we really got a feel for how difficult life must have been for the crofters in days gone past. While the scenery is stunning it must have been hard to make a living, especially in the winter months. On another visit to Dumfries and Galloway this was brought home to us when we visited Thomas Telford’s birthplace. It was remote enough when visiting by car, it must have been really hard to commute from town to town via horse or on foot.
Neep and Tatties is a traditional Scottish dish, one that was eaten by poor crofters. You can understand why, root vegetables would have been easy to grow in harsh conditions and a reliable crop. Tasty and filling it goes with any type of meat or poultry, although haggis is traditional. Recently I received my latest issue of BBC Good Food and spotted a recipe for Neep and Tattie soup. I am loving my subscription to BBC Good Food magazine , it is a great source of recipe inspiration and would make a great gift. As the weather has been so cold recently I decided I would give this a try. At the moment I have been making lots of soup, it has been really frosty recently. When I take the dog out in the morning I have to be really careful not to slip and come in with cold fingers and toes. Soup makes a perfect warming lunch on a freezing cold day.
My son was not impressed that I was making soup. He told me he was starving and why could I not just open one of the packets of soup in the cupboard. Apparently making soup from scratch takes too long and he just could not wait. Being a cruel mother I made him wait until it wad ready, fortunately it did not take that long. It really is just a question of chopping up some vegetables, cooking them in water until they are soft and mixing them in a food processor. Some milk is then added to make it more creamy. I added some chopped up bacon to the top and a swirl of cream. If you want to be more traditional you could crumble some cooked haggis onto the top.
Fortunately when the soup was ready he loved it and managed to devour two bowls. He remarked that the soup tasted sweet and he was right, it had a touch of earthy sweetness to it that made it more warming. It really is the ideal soup for a winters day, perfect for eating when the wind is howling round the house and you can rejoice in the fact you are inside.