Cawl pronounced ‘cowl’, is Welsh for broth or soup. Like all traditional country soups the ingredients are governed by what is to hand or in season. It appears from easrly Welsh manuscripts that originally the main neat used was bacon, or even kid, for as with Irish Stew no cottager would dream of using valuable lamb or mutton for soups. Nowdays, however, mutton or lamb best end of neck chops are most generally used, which make it into a delicious soup-stew.
‘Cystal yfed o’r cawl a bwyta’r cig’ – It’s as good to drink the broth as to eat the meat’: froma colllection of proverbs attributed to Cattwg Ddoeth (Cattwg the Wise).
Cawl should be started the day before so that any fat can be skimmed off and all the flavours amalgamate.
Cawl (Broth)Course: Recipe
2lb best end of neck Welsh lamb
1 small swede
1 medium parsnip
salt and pepper
- Place the meat in a large saucepan and cover with water, add salt and pepper.
- Slowly bring to the boil and skim carefully.
- Add the chopped carrots, swede, parsnip and whites of leeks and simmer for 2 hours. If in season cabbage, celery etc. can all be used.
- Add chopped potatoes and simmer for a further 1/2 hour.
- Thicken with flour and water and add the chopped parsley and green of leeks.
- Simmer for a further 15 mins.
- Serve hot.
- Cawl is particularly tasty when left overnight and again served hot.