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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 early Welsh manuscripts that originally the main meat 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 â bwyta’s cig. “It is as good to drink the broth as to eat the meat”
– from a collection of proverbs attributed to Cattwg Ddoeth (Cattwg the Wise).

Some families treat it as a French pot-au-feu – that is, they serve the clear broth first, then the meat and vegetables as a second course. Traditionally Cawl was eaten in wooden bowls with wooden spoons so that there was no fear of burning the mouth.

Read more at:  http://www.welshholidaycottages.com/food/welsh-cawl.htm

Here’s how I made mine. Crock pot-style…


  • 3 lamb shoulder steaks
  • 1 large sliced onion
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 medium parsnip, chopped
  • 1 medium turnip
  • 2 sprigs chopped parsley
  • 4 small potatoes, cut in half
  • salt and pepper

I used the broth left over from my pastai oen to start my soup. It was made with the bones from the lamb steaks, onion, and parsley, simmered in the crock pot overnight.


  1. Trim as much fat off the meat as possible, brown in a skillet.
  2. To the broth, add the meat, onion, 1 leek, carrots, parsnip, turnip, potatoes and half the parsley.
  3. Cook until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add the remainder of the parsley, add salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Finely chop the remaining leek (green and white part) on top.
  6. Cook for no more than 5 minutes and serve.


parsnip, turnip, leek

Parsnip, Turnip, Leek

welsh soup