Queen Victoria’s Brown Windsor Soup

brown windsor soup recipe

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In this recipe, meat, vegetables and beef stock combine with bouquet garni, chili and perhaps a splash of madeira wine to make this classic, rich Edwardian/Victorian soup recipe.

Enjoy a taste of historic England by making this Windsor soup recipe. This is rich and meaty and it makes a filling lunch or dinner. You could even serve it as a starter but keep the portions small because it tends to be filling.

This is a nice, meaty treat. You can use mutton or lamb in here. Mutton is old lamb. If you cook it slowly it can be just as tender as lamb, but it does tend to be stronger in flavor, so if this is not your favorite meat you might want to use regular lamb instead of mutton, or else just use beef instead.


  • ¼ lb (115g) stewing beef
  • ¼ lb (115g) lamb steak or mutton
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (plain flour)
  • 1 peeled, sliced yellow onion
  • 1 peeled, sliced parsnip
  • 1 peeled, sliced carrot or 4 oz (115g) drained tinned kidney beans
  • 4 cups (1 litre) beef stock
  • 1 bouquet garni (or thyme, sage and bay leaves, tied with string)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • Parsley sprigs, for garnish
  • Small handful cooked white rice (optional)
  • ¼ cup (60ml) madeira wine (optional)


  1. Cut the beef and lamb into 1-inch (2½ cm) cubes and roll them in some of the flour.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot over a low-medium heat.
  3. Fry the beef and lamb for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining flour.
  5. Cook for another minute or 2.
  6. Add the onion, parsnip and carrot or kidney beans.
  7. Stir in the beef stock.
  8. Add the bouquet garni.
  9. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours.
  10. Puree the soup.
  11. Add the rice if using.
  12. Serve hot, garnished with parsley sprigs, with bread rolls on the side.
  13. It is traditional to stir a tablespoon of madeira wine into each serving at the table.


  • Swap the rice for barley if preferred, or even quinoa which is much less traditional.

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