Sundays may be famous for roast dinners, but in Iceland, there’s no better way to beat the cold and revitalise the spirit than with a healthy portion of traditional meat soup. Follow our below recipe to taste for yourself one of Iceland’s most authentic and popular dishes.


See Also: Food in Iceland | An Introduction to Icelandic Cuisine 


Regardless of the hundreds of acclaimed restaurants found across the island, Icelandic cuisine has a nefarious reputation for peculiar—some might say, disgusting—food. (As proof of that point, see our article The Viking Month of Thorri & Traditional Icelandic Food).

However, Icelandic meat soup, known as Kjötsúpa, is a favourite of locals and visitors alike, warming the soul with its chunky vegetables, steaming broth and a delectable variety of meats.

While each family has their own variety of the recipe, the soup is traditionally consumed at dinnertime during the winter.

See below for the necessary ingredients and instructions to make your own Icelandic meat soup this winter.

  • 1 kg lamb – special soup meat which can be purchased in stores, or lamb on the bone.
  • 1.8 litres of water
  • 1-2 tablespoons of soup herbs (a mixture of dried parsnip, carrots and leek which can be bought in stores, or prepared fresh).
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 dl rice
  • 500 g rutabaga/swedes, diced
  • 500 g potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 250 g carrots
  • 100 g white cabbage
  • Salt and pepper

First things first, strip the fat from the meat before placing it in a pot of cold water. Next, you bring the water to the boil, then mix in your salt, soup herbs, onion and rice. This concoction is left to boil for approximately forty minutes.


See Also: Delicious Icelandic Recipes 


While waiting, peel the swedes/rutabaga and potatoes, take your carrots, then dice accordingly. Throw your diced vegetables in the pot for another 15 minutes, soaking in that delicious, hearty aroma.

If you would like to add cabbage, cut it into thin slices and place in the broth for 5 minutes or so, or until all the vegetables are soft. For added taste, make sure to add salt and pepper.

Once you have finally prepared your Icelandic meat soup, plate your food and serve to your salivating guests. If you would rather eat your dish the next day, the meat soup is just as delicious served cold.


What are your thoughts on Icelandic cuisine? Do you have a favourite Icelandic dish? Which other meals would you like to see us prepare recipes for? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.