Cock-A-Leekie Soup Recipe

Cock-A-Leekie Soup is a peasant dish with many regional variations, some which go back as far as the 16th century. Some cooks add chopped grilled bacon, some use beef stock, some add Jamaican pepper and many suggest offering stewed prunes with the finished dish.

Cock-A-Leekie SoupOur Mother became particularly fixated on the recipe for Cock-A-Leekie soup when we were very young. My sister Abby and I would hear Mother in the kitchen talking to herself about how delicious it was and she could hardly wait to get to the store to get the necessary ingredients. She had a way of making it sound like the most delectable soup known to man.

Years later, we learned that “Cock-A-Leekie” soup is a traditional Scottish recipe. I don’t know to this day whether Mother had gotten to know some Scottish people at some point, or whether it was just all the Scotch she drank, but she got this.

Talleyrand, the French diplomat and renowned gourmand, recommended cooking prunes in the soup. Whichever choice you make, the easy recipe below from Ronnie Clydesdale of the Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow is a sure-fire winner.

If prepared properly (for example, by purchasing the appropriate ingredients, following the instructions, and using spices and flavor in moderation), it is actually quite tasty.

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 2lb 12oz/ 1.25k fresh, whole chicken
  • 12 medium sized leeks, well washed and chopped to ¾”/2cm lengths
  • 4 oz/ 100g long grain rice, washed
  • 3 – 4 medium sized carrots, peeled and grated
  • Salt and crushed black pepper

Preparation:

Serves 4

  • Put the chicken in a pot with enough water to more than cover. Add ½ of the leeks
  • Cover the pot and simmer gently for 1 hour or until the chicken is falling off the bone Remove the chicken and reserve.
  • Strain the stock into a fresh pot, add the rice and cook in a covered pot for 10 minutes Add the grated carrots and the remainder of the chopped leeks and continue cooking for 20 minutes.
  • Taste for intensity of flavor and, if necessary, reduce further to increase the taste.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Chop a little of the reserved chicken and add to the finished soup.

Note: The reserved chicken is sometimes served as a separate course with boiled potatoes and a very strong sauce or perhaps yellow mustard.

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