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Scottish Cock-a-Leekie Soup

What's The Big Idea?

This has to be one of Scotland's oldest and most traditional recipes. It's not really a recipe which is easy to make for just one or two people, but on the other hand you can make a big pot of it and freeze and then re-heat whatever is left over. This recipe will make approximately 6-8 servings.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 1 chicken, about 4lb, giblets removed
  • 3 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped
  • 4 pints weak chicken stock
  • 1lb leeks, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 bay leaves, a sprig each of fresh parsley and thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1oz long grained rice
  • 4oz stoned prunes
  • One teaspoon brown sugar

What To Do

  • Put the whole chicken and bacon in a large saucepan and cover with the weak stock. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes
  • Remove any scum and add three-quarters of the leeks, the herbs (tied together in a bundle), salt and pepper and return to the boil
  • Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2-3 hours, adding more water if necessary
  • Remove the chicken. Discard the skin and bones, and cut the meat into small pieces and add them back to the soup
  • Add the rice, sugar, prunes and the remaining leeks and simmer for another 30 minutes. Remove the bundle of herbs
  • Check for flavour and serve with a little chopped parsley

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