Welsh Cawl - Jamie Oliver

Prep Time
Cook Time
1h 10m
Ready In

"Cawl (pronounced cow-l, like towel in one syllable) is a thrifty traditional Welsh soup dish, dating back to the 14th Century. Recipes vary from kitchen to kitchen in Wales, and are often passed down through families. It is really very simple – a soup made from a cheap cut of red meat stewed slowly with winter root vegetables, historically in a cauldron over an open fire. But, oh, it is so much more than a simple soup – ask ANY Welsh person. Cawl is much better when prepared two or three days in advance of serving. Keep refrigerated!!!"

Original recipe yields 8 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (298.9 g)
  • Calories 253
  • Total Fat - 7.9 g
  • Saturated Fat - 2.1 g
  • Cholesterol - 143.8 mg
  • Sodium - 334.4 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 22.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 4.9 g
  • Sugars - 5.2 g
  • Protein - 23 g
  • Calcium - 129.2 mg
  • Iron - 2.8 mg
  • Vitamin C - 32.4 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.2 mg

Step 1

Place 9 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt into a large pan. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil.

Step 2

Peel and add the whole onion and the lamb. Bring to the boil, then use a spoon to skim away the scum from the surface. Simmer for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan and leave to cool. Strip the meat from the bone, then return the meat to the pan.

Step 3

Peel the carrots and slice at a slight angle into 1/2 inch chunks, then add to the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for a further 15 to 20 minutes with the lid on, or until tender. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into quarters so they’re all roughly the same size. Once the carrot has softened, add the potatoes to the pan and repeat the process until tender.

Step 4

Cut the turnips into 1 inch chunks. Peel the parsnips, cut into 1 inch chunks. Strip and discard the outer leaves from the leeks, then cut into 1/2 inch slices. Add the turnips, parsnips, and most of the leeks to the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on, or until tender. Taste and season, then add the rest of the leeks. Place the lid on top, then pop in the fridge to chill overnight (or for up to 3 days for even tastier results).

Step 5

When you’re ready to serve, gently simmer the cawl until warm. Ladle into serving bowls, then serve with lots of black pepper, a wedge of mature Caerphilly cheese and a slice of bread and butter.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.