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Cock A Leekie Soup Recipe : A True Scottish Classic

Updated on February 5, 2012
Cock-a-Leekie Soup
Cock-a-Leekie Soup

Easy Recipe - How To Make A Delicious Cock A Leekie Soup

No collection of Traditional Scottish recipes could ever be considered complete without one of the nation’s favorite dishes, Cock a Leekie Soup. This hearty warming soup is the perfect answer to Scotland’s dreich (roughly translates to miserable) winter weather. References to Cock a Leekie soup date back to medieval times and describe it as filling broth made from wildfowl and leeks – hence the name.

Ancient Cock a Leekie recipes included prunes as an ingredient, however, this is rare in modern recipes. Early recipes also indicate that the chicken was removed from the stewing liquor and served as a separate dish. Today this satisfying soup is served as one dish, the chicken meat is removed from the broth, cut up and returned before serving. Cock a Leekie soup is one of Scotland’s most traditional dishes and is often served as a starter or soup course on St Andrews Night and at Burns Night Suppers.

Cock A Leekie Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

  • One chicken whole or jointed
  • 500g of leeks
  • 25g of rice
  • One teaspoon of brown sugar
  • One bay leaf
  • Sprig of thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Parsley to garnish
  • Optional ingredients:
  • 100g of precooked prunes (stones removed)
  • Three rashers of chopped streaky bacon

Method:

  1. Place the chicken, bay leaf, and thyme into a large pot and add 2 Littre of water.
  2. Bring to the boil and cook chicken until it falls off the bone.
  3. Skim off any fat or scum that appears while cooking.
  4. When the chicken is cooked remove and set aside.
  5. Strain the stock into a fresh pan.
  6. Chop the leeks into half inch pieces and wash thoroughly to remove any grit.
  7. Add the rice and half the leeks and cook in a covered pot for 10 minutes.
  8. Add the remainder of the chopped leeks and continue cooking in an uncovered pot for a further 20 minutes.
  9. Taste for flavor. If need be cook for another 5 minutes to reduce the liquid and intensify the flavor.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Serve hot and garnish with some chopped parsley.

More Traditional Scottish Recipes

Comments

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    • profile image

      Michael 

      7 months ago

      I have tried this with and without the prunes and they really make a difference on the flavor of the soup.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 

      6 years ago

      Peter Hoggan, This recipe definitely is not dreich! It's helpful to come across a recipe in which the cultural/menu context is shared, the instructions are clear, and the photographs do the dish mouth-watering justice. In particular, I really like how you take readers through the authentic how-to, but allow for variations such as to include or not to include prunes and to put or not to put the chicken back in the broth.

      Thank you for sharing, voted up + all,

      Derdriu

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 

      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      Leeks are inexpensive here, so I'm going to give this one a try (minus the prunes)!

    • Peter Hoggan profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Hoggan 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      I must admit I omit the prunes but that’s just my personal taste.

    • profile image

      stessily 

      6 years ago

      This series on traditional Scottish recipes is wonderful! Leeks and brown sugar have my attention already! Hmm, lots of prunes, and yet everything gives me the impression of combining into a very tasty final product. I've had variations on this theme, but without the prunes, so I have to try this.

      Thanks for sharing, and your "biography" of the recipe is appreciated.

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