Kjötsúpa at Meat Soup Day

kjötsúpa, meat soup day

Say hello to winter: Today it is the official winter beginning in Iceland. And, even more important: Kjötsúpa or translated Meat Soup Day. To cook away some beginning winter blues, I recommend to prepare kjötsúpa.Basically the meat soup day is a marketing event of the city of Reykjavík. Tourists shall get a taste of Iceland by eating a plate of soup for free. I think this is a nice idea and dishes are one of the most authentic ways to get to know a country.

By the way: If this is the way the Icelandic winter is like then I’m lucky and say “Go ahead”. Since five days there has been no rain, just slighly snow fall, mild temperatures and a light breeze. But I am aware of everything and I know you should never count your chicken before they’re hatched. Or in a sense: Never count your lambs before the snow hazard.


  • 500g lamb meat (neck or breast)
  • 1 l water
  • 200 g potatoes
  • 200g carrots
  • 200g beet, turnip
  • 2 onions
  • soup greens
  • bay leaves
  • pepper, salt
  • parsley, thyme

At home we use a good chicken soup to recover from a cold, in Iceland it is kjötsúpa (I’ve tested it personally and it works!). Icelander say it is also perfect to eat away short-winter-day-blues! I have to be frankly: This dish wasn’t my favorite at the beginning, but it is mostly due to my inexperience to the taste of sheep or lamb meat. In Germany, or at least in my kitchen, sheep and lamb is really rare. But I get used to it and I start to appreciate the taste. However, I guess, I will never get use to its smell.


  • Wash the lamb meat and put it into a big pot with cold water. Add 2-3 bay leaves and some black peppercorns. When the water starts to boil add plenty of salt. Skim the foam which might appear while boiling it at low heat.
  • Chop all the vegetables in rather big pieces and add them after the meat has cooked for 30 minutes. I do not mind, if the onion is also chopped quite coarsely. But a lot of people do not like that, so cut them into fine slices.
  • It depends if you like your vegetables rather crispy, then put the carrots into the soup later on. Otherwise add all the chopped vegetables and also a bit of thyme to the soup.
  • Take the meat out of the soup, let it cool down a bit and then cut into bite-sized pieces. Put it back in and add some parsley. Then the traditional Icelandic meat soup is ready to serve!!!

PS: Sorry for the bad picture, but I was in a hurry. We prepared the lunch for a big group of Danish tourists and before I served the soup I almost forgot to take a picture. Afterwards there was no single drop left to remake another shot… Next time I will do a more appetising one.

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