This is Matthew’s take on a traditional Scotch broth soup, using the intense flavour from beef shins paired with robust root vegetables and the nuttiness of spelt to create an incredible warming and filling soup perfect for winter days.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (28 votes)


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg beef shin, cut into 1-inch thick pieces, ideally on the bone for more flavour (see Note)
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 onions, diced
  • 1 garlic bulb, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium kohlrabi head, peeled and diced
  • 1 small celeriac head, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 cups spelt
  • salt and pepper
  • crusty bread, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


In a large, heavy-based casserole dish, heat the olive oil over a medium high heat. Add the beef shins to brown off quickly all over, then remove and set aside.

Reduce the heat to low and then add the diced celery, carrot and onion and give a good stir around. Then add the diced garlic. Allow to cook for a few minutes, then add in the kohlrabi, celeriac, bay leaves and finally the spelt.

Return the beef shins and push down into the vegetables. Season with a liberal pinch of salt and pepper. Top up with water, until the vegetables and meat are covered. Put the lid on and bring up to a boil before reducing the heat to a gentle simmer for 2–3 hours, until the meat is falling from the bone and melt-apart tender.

Serve with crusty bread.


• Beef shin, often sold as osso buco when sliced across the bone, is a splendid soup cut. Brisket works really well, too.