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Scottish Cock-a-Leekie Soup



It's a wonderfully cool weekend after days of torrential rain. Classic April showers and the lot but how nice to wake up a day of blue skies and puffy clouds that makes you feel you're in the middle of a Disney movie.


So why am I making Cock-a-leekie soup of all things today? Though you simply don't need an excuse to make a pot of this lovely, I want to get in one more time before it starts getting too hot to want a bowl of hearty soup, it's also the perfect soup to carry for a sick friend. All those chicken enzymes to the rescue!


This traditional soup is simple and lovely and depending on whom you ask you'll get little tweaks - Like oh! I add bacon in mine or I sauté my leeks in butter...or not - that sort of thing. The version I love, includes all the high points - leeks sautéed in butter with bacon, simmered with a whole chicken to make a robust delicious stock and finished with just a handful of rice or barley, chopped parsley and..... wait for it - thinly sliced prunes!


The prunes are magic in the soup - a morsel of natural sweetness in every bite, not to mention a lovely golden brown hue it adds to the soup. I wouldn't omit these at all.


I know what I'd prefer, but whatever your reason I'd put this 5 ingredient soup on my must-make-list!


warmly

Devaki

Recipe for:

Traditional Scottish Cock-a-Leekie soup


Shopping list:

1 whole chicken 3-4 lbs.

14 cups water for chicken stock

½ tbs salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

3 tsp brown sugar

~

2 tbs butter

4 thick bacon slices

2 lb leeks

1/3 cup long grain rice

½ cup prunes

2 tbs chopped parsley for garnish



Preparation:

Leeks: Slice & discard root. Halve lengthwise and slice each length into ½” semi circles.


Bacon– Halve lengthwise and slice thin.


Method:



In a large stock pot, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the bacon and leeks and sauté until the leeks are translucent.


Add the chicken and water, salt, pepper and sugar and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour until the chicken is very tender and falls apart. Remove the chicken and set aside until cool to handle.


Add the rice or barley and cover the stock pot with a lid, leaving a small gap to allow the steam to escape. Cook for 30 minutes.


Meanwhile,


Chicken: Separate the meat and discard skin and bones. Shred the meat and set aside covered until ready to eat.


Prunes: Cut into 1/8” slices and set aside.


Parsley: Separate leaves from stems and finely shop.


Add the prunes, chicken and parsley to the soup and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.


Serve with crust bread.



Enjoy!

#scottish #cock-a-leekie #scottishclassics #soups #chickensoup #prunes


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