Cock-A-Leekie Soup

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Serves: 4–6 | active time 25 minutes (start to finish: 3 hours, including making stock)

Chicken_noodle_soupThe weather can be so variable here in late spring and early summer, and on a cold, damp June-uary day, there is nothing more comforting than a warming bowl of chicken soup. Instead of noodles, this traditional Scottish broth includes rice and ribbons of leeks and a surprising garnish of julienned prunes. If prunes are a bridge too far, try dried apricots, which make for a less traditional, but no less successful, counterpoint to this intensely savory soup.

For the stock

2 leeks
2 carrots
8 cups water
6–8 black peppercorns
4 chicken legs
1 teaspoon salt

For the bouquet garnish

small bunch of thyme
1 bay leaf
small bunch of parsley stalks

Finishing the soup

2 leeks
2 carrots
1/3 cup uncooked long-grain rice
10 prunes (dried plums) or dried apricots, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to season
parsley for garnish

To make the stock, remove the roots and tops of the leeks and wash them thoroughly to remove dirt and grit, removing outer layers as necessary. Cut each leek in half, and then cut each half again lengthwise. Wash the carrots, remove their tops, and cut them in half lengthwise. Put the water in a large saucepan and add the leeks, carrots, peppercorns, and chicken legs. Tie the thyme, bay leaf and parsley stalks together in a bundle with cooking string to make a bouquet garnish and add that to the other ingredients in the saucepan.

Bring to the boil and remove any scum, and then simmer with the lid on for 2 hours.

In the meantime, thoroughly wash the remaining leeks, remove the roots, and slice the white and pale green parts thinly. Wash and peel the remaining carrots, and then chop into small dice.

Strain the stock into another pan. Discard the vegetables and bouquet garnish. Take out the chicken, remove the skin and bones, and tear the meat into small pieces, using your hands or a fork. Set the chicken aside.

Add the leeks, carrots, rice, and prunes or apricots to the stock and cook again for another 30 minutes until the rice is tender, adding the chicken back for the last 5 minutes of cooking so it can warm through. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve sprinkled with parsley.

Related Posts

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.