Farikal is a traditional Norwegian lamb and cabbage soup. Made of simply lamb, cabbage, peppercorns and flour, this authentic soup is the national dish of Norway.
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Farikal is an Autumn dish. Lambs are harvested in September and cabbage is in season. This dish is usually served with boiled potatoes and flatbread.
The word farikal means lamb in cabbage in Danish. It was originally a Danish dish that used goose instead of lamb. The Norwegians adopted this dish, substituted the goose for lamb and kept the Danish term for this soup.
The fourth Thursday in September is Farikalens Festag, or Farikal Feast Day. The National Dish of Norway has an honor festival dedicated to this favorite soup.
How to prepare Farikal
- Tear cabbage leaves and place in soup pot first.
- Pour flour and liquid on top of cabbage.
- Add lamb to pot and sprinkle the peppercorns.
- Cover and simmer on low for 2-3 hours.
Traditionally this soup has just a few ingredients; lamb, cabbage, water, flour, salt and peppercorns. I poured the peppercorns in the pot but if you wish you may place them in a mesh bag and simmer with the soup. Afterward just remove the mesh bag. I used vegetable broth in place of half of the water out of personal preference for veggie broth. To stay true to authentic Farikal, simply use water and add salt to taste.
I used leg of lamb because that is what I can find in my area. Any lamb will do, especially if it has bones. This gives the broth an extra special depth.
For photography sake, after the soup was done I placed the whole soup pot, uncovered under my broiler in order to crisp up the meat a bit. It makes for better food photography, you don’t have to do this. You can easily stay true to tradition by skipping this step.
Since it is just me and my husband, I essentially made half of a recipe by using 2 lbs of lamb and half a head of cabbage. This makes about six servings. This recipe easily doubles if you have a large stock pot to cook this in. The soup gets better with age so leftovers are fantastic.
Craving More Soup?
For a rich and hearty soup, I like to whip up a batch of Crawfish Chowder with Bacon and Potatoes. I find the crawfish in the frozen section. Instead of making fish stock, I have a simple shortcut to share with you. Clam juice. It comes in a bottle and it saves a ton of time and mess.
If you want to find your inner Irish, Traditional Irish Stew is easy and hearty. Perfect if you live in colder climates. This soup is made of lamb, potatoes and herbs. It is a favorite of the Irish. Each family has their own recipe I’m sure. You can make this one your own.
If you are craving a lighter soup, Easy Vietnamese Pho may be exactly what you are looking for. I have another shortcut. Pho usually starts out by making a bone broth over several hours. I bake the bones first, then simmer them in water. It makes a lot less scum to skim off and it cuts down the cooking time by quite a bit. Instead of an all day soup, this one comes together in 3 1/2 hours. I know this is not exactly a weeknight dinner but it can be. Just cook the broth on the weekend and assemble during the weeknight.
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