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Farikal | A Traditional Norwegian Soup

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.

A bowl of Farikal.

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.

For another Scandinavian stew, try Labskovs, a Danish stew with beef and potatoes. To round off with dessert, indulge in a little Swedish Dark Cake.

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.

Pro Tips

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.

A soup pot with lamb, cabbage and black peppercorns.
A bowl of Farikal.

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A bowl of Farikal.

Farikal

Yield: 6 bowls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

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.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 1/2–2 lb leg of lamb, cubed into one inch chunks
  • 1 Tbs whole black peppercorns
  • Optional Garnish
  • fresh herbs

Instructions

    1. Tear off leaves of cabbage and place in bottom of large soup pot or dutch oven.
    2. In a mixing bowl mix flour with some of the vegetable broth until dissolved and no clumps have formed. Pour on top of the cabbage along with the remaining broth and water.
    3. Place lamb on top of cabbage and add peppercorns.
      Place soup pot on the stove and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 2-3 hours on low. Check for seasoning, you may need a little salt.
    4. Serve with crusty bread.

Notes

For a true authentic recipe, use water instead of broth. You will need to add salt to taste.

To add some texture to the meat, place soup pot under broiler and brown the meat for a few minutes (If the soup pot is oven-safe) or take out meat and place in a shallow baking pan and broil until browned and a little crispy (optional).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 399mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 23g

Did you make this recipe?

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Claire | The Simple, Sweet Life

Sunday 1st of September 2019

This totally takes me back to my time living in Norway! In fact, fårikål was the first Norwegian dish I ever made for my Norwegian husband and I thought I could surprise him with it. Little did I know it has a pretty distinctive smell! But it's totally delicious.

Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness

Sunday 1st of September 2019

I have a Norwegian friend who would go CRAZY for this soup! Also, there is a word for "lamb in cabbage"? English needs to step up its game!!

Paula Montenegro

Saturday 31st of August 2019

I am a huge fan of lamb and can't wait to try this recipe! I had never heard about it, but it sure does sound amazing!

Veronika's Kitchen

Friday 30th of August 2019

Soup with lamb and cabbage! I would have a couple of bowls of it right now! This is a perfect comfort meal for the Fall and Winter!

shobee

Thursday 29th of August 2019

Wow, this dish is actually similar to our Beef Tinola in the Philippines. We don't use lamb but beef meat instead.

Tina

Friday 30th of August 2019

How interesting, I must try that too! Thanks for that suggestion:)

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