A Delicious Norwegian Meat Soup

Norwegian Meat Soup

A Delicious Norwegian Meat Soup

Norwegian Meat Soup

Kjøttsuppe, meat soup, is a traditional dish in Norway. Especially so during fall as the dark and cold weather sets in and the root vegetables come fresh off the fields. It’s an easy dish to make, but in order to get a tasty soup you need fresh ingredients, rich meat or vegetable stock, and plenty of time to let it simmer on the stow. Here’s my recipe and how I make it. Enjoy!

Ingredients for a Norwegian Meat Soup

I have to admit that each time I make this soup I end up using slightly different ingredients. Different kinds of vegetables and different kinds of meat (not poultry). Sometimes I skip the meat and make it vegetarian. There’s not really a right or wrong, and after having made it a couple of times you won’t even have to look at a recipe, but you can improvise and use whatever you crave or is available.

Norwegian Meat Soup

Meat or Vegetable stock

A good stock makes the basis of any tasty soup or stew. Not everyone find themselves with the time or interest to make their own stock. So if you end up buying pre-made stock at the supermarket you won’t be alone, I do it myself from time to time.  However, if you want a rich taste to your soup you’ll be wise cooking up some of your own stock. In this recipe I’ve used chicken stock which I pre-made a few days earlier. Be aware that stock does not hold for a long time, so unless you are using it within a week or so then you should freeze it.  I won’t describe how to make a good stock in this article, but it’s the easiest thing in the world. Just add whatever bones and/or vegetables to a pot, pour over water and let it simmer and reduce. Here’s an article I found on how to make chicken stock.

Vegetables in the soup

Norwegians have a lot of seasonal dishes, and meat soup/stew is one of them, and we enjoy eating it during fall or early winter. Why so? Well, that’s because the vegetables come fresh off the fields that time of the year. You can’t expect to find a fresh rutabaga in a supermarket in March… and the ones you do find will be small, dry and wrapped in plastic.. yuck..  Therefor we hold our horses and wait patiently until the right time of the year. So what vegetables do Norwegians put in this soup? I’ll make a list for you:

  • Rutabaga
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Celery
  • Celery root
  • Onion
  • Cabbage
  • Jerusalem artichoke

Do you need all of them? No! Use what you have available, and for instance I did not use cabbage and jerusalem artichoke this time. Now if you’d like it to be vegetarian you can skip the next section, but if not….

Meat in the soup

As with the vegetables, there are no strict rules to what kind of meat you add to the soup. Add whatever you have in the fridge, or whatever meat you like. It’s also fine to mix different kinds of meat (beef and pork). To save some money you might also choose cheap pork sausage over more expensive beef.

Personally I do prefer meat that “enjoy” a long cooking time, so typically I choose some kind of beef and make sure that it has some fat and bones. This will for sure add more flavor to the soup.

NB! I would avoid using poultry… Typically a “meat soup” in Norway would not have it, and it would rather be named a “chicken soup”.

You might also like: Riskrem – A traditional Norwegian Christmas dessert

Recipe for Norwegian meat soup

To make a soup like mine you would need the following:

  • 1 liter (33 oz) chicken stock (or vegetable/beef stock).. or more if you have.
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 medium sized yellow onions
  • 1 medium sized rutabaga
  • 1 leek
  • 1/2 celery root
  • 12 ish small-medium sized potatoes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Water
  • 600 grams (1,3 lbs) beef meat (any part, but no expensive meat)
  • 400 grams (o,8 lbs) sausage

Note that this is a rather large portion, so you could easily cut it all in half.

How to cook the soup

Pour the stock into a big pot and turn on medium heat. Meanwhile start chopping the vegetables. Slices the carrots and leeks, and finely chop the onions. Dice up potatoes, rutabaga and celery root. Put  the vegetables into the stock and increase the heat. If needed add water so that it covers the vegetables. Now start chopping up the meat. If you are using beef with some fat and bones on it, make sure to not cut all of it off as it’ll give the soup a lot of flavor. When the soup starts to boil turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 30 min. Then add the meat. Add more water if needed so that it barely covers the meat. Let the soup simmer for another hour and half ish on low heat. The soup is ready when the meat is tender and falls off the bone, and when the root vegetables are properly cooked.

How to eat the soup

Serve the  soup with your choice of beverage, I enjoy a cold glass of water, or perhaps a red wine or a dark ale. Also have some flatbrød (flat bread, traditional Norwegian bread) on the side. If you can’t get flat bread you could replace it with some thin crisp bread, but it should have a neutral flavor (nothing sweet). Some like to have a bit of butter on the flat bread as well.

Since it’s a big portion you’ll probably have a lot of leftovers. But don’t worry! It will taste even better the next day.

Vel bekomme! Thanks for sharing this article with anyone interested in cooking and Norwegian food. Tusen takk, thank you!

You might also like: How to cook Fårikål -Norway’s National dish

Your friend in Norway,


Pål of Norway With Pål

Pål of Norway With Pål

Norway native, veteran travel guide, sailor, filmmaker, and writer (you might have seen me in one of Rick Steves’ guidebooks!). I want to help you enjoy Norway the right way — like a local. Learn more about me.

DISCLAIMER: Products on this page may contain affiliate links, and I might make a small sum per purchase. For you this does not affect the product price, but supports me and my work, and makes me able to continue sharing my passion for Norway with you. Read the Disclaimer policy. Thank you, tusen takk!

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