Scottish Cock-A-Leekie Soup

20191ghbjYou will likely never eat a truly traditional cock-a-leekie soup.  The reason is right there in the name.  Sometimes it’s just best not to worry about it.

20191013_223226(All links open a new page, so you won’t lose your spot when you look around!  Get information on gardening and cultural traditions, recipes, stories, and more!)

Cock-a-leekie soup has a long history in Scotland going back several centuries, though its origins likely started off in France as a regular chicken and onion soup.  Once the recipe made its way to Scotland, leeks replaced the onions since they are a commonly grown crop there, and a dash of ground black pepper gave it a little kick.  The addition of prunes later on made it a uniquely regional staple and now it is essentially the “official” soup of Scotland.  More recent versions of the recipe leave out the prunes, but that’s what sold me on this dish when I was a kid!

20191013_223251As to that true traditional soup, well, you’re not likely to find the “cock” at the grocery store, only the hen!  However, you can make a close enough substitute (and maybe even better), and do so pretty easily.  Not only was a cock used in the soup, but it would have been boiled to make the broth.  I’m no fan of boiled meat or of picking out the bones, so I prefer to start with broth and add cooked chicken to it for a better flavor, and a faster preparation!

Scottish Cock-A-Leekie Soup Recipe

  • Difficulty: embarrassingly easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 8 cups (2 quarts) chicken broth
  • 3 cups sliced leeks, green and white parts (be sure to clean your leeks thoroughly as dirt is often trapped in the leaves)
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken, either fresh roasted or canned
  • 3/4 cup sliced dried prunes or plums
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Put the broth into a large stock pot and bring almost to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer.  Add the leeks and cook only until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Add the chicken, including any broth if it was canned, and the prunes or plums and cook until heated through and the dried fruit has just softened.  Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.  That’s it!  Enjoy!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s