Kjötsúpa: Icelandic Lamb Soup

Kjötsúpa- Icelandic lamb soup
Louis-Laurent Grandadam / Getty Images
  • 95 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins,
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Yield: 6 - 8 servings
Ratings (31)

Rutabagas and carrots add a bright flavor and color to this traditional Icelandic lamb soup recipe.

What You'll Need

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 3 pounds lamb, on the bone (thick chops or shoulder, whatever is cheapest)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/3 cup brown rice (traditionalists use rolled oats as an alternative)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced into 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 rutabaga, uniformly diced
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets (optional)
  • 4 potatoes, scrubbed well and diced into uniform 1/2" pieces (see alternative note below)

How to Make It

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, briefly sauté the garlic in the olive oil for 1-2 minutes over medium heat (do not brown). Add the lamb pieces and brown on all sides. Add the sliced onion to the pot and sauté very lightly (about 1 minute), then pour in the brown rice and water. Raise heat to high, bringing the soup to a low boil; allow to boil for 5 minutes, skimming away the froth as it rises.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, stir in dried thyme and oregano, cover pot, and cook for 40 minutes.
  1. Add cabbage, carrots, rutabaga, cauliflower (if using), and diced potatoes. Cook, covered, for an additional 20 minutes, or until vegetables are fork-tender.
  2. Remove meat and bones from pot, chop meat coarsely, then return. Warm for an additional 5 minutes. (Alternatively, some Icelanders will remove the lamb and potatoes from the pot and serve these on a plate, separately from the soup. If presenting the meal this way, chop the potatoes into larger, 1" chunks).

Yield: 6-8 servings of kjötsúpa.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 728
Total Fat 37 g
Saturated Fat 15 g
Unsaturated Fat 16 g
Cholesterol 159 mg
Sodium 207 mg
Carbohydrates 51 g
Dietary Fiber 9 g
Protein 48 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)