Cock-a-leekie recipe

Posted in January, November, December, All Recipes, Winter, on

This delicious chicken soup is a traditional favourite, and we totally understand why. It's perfect warming winter food, and brilliant if you've got a little bit of a cold.

 For 8 as a starter, 6 for lunch

  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 leeks, finely sliced
  • 3 sticks of celery, finely sliced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 100g smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 small free-range chicken (about 1-1.5kg)
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 bouquet garni (2 bay leaves, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 sprig of thyme tied together with string)
  • salt and black pepper
  • 10 stoned prunes, cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons long-grain rice (optional)

In a large saucepan, fry the onion gently in a little oil for 5 mintues. Add the leeks, celery, carrots and bacon and continue to fry gently for another 10 minutes.

Place the chicken in the pan and cover with plenty of water. Add the allspice, bouquet garni and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer very gently for 1 hour (or a little longer for a bigger chicken), skimming the top occasionally.

After 30 minutes, add the prunes - these give a delicious sweetness and are a traditional addition - and you can also add a little rice 10 minutes before the end of cooking time. If the soup is too thick, add a little more water at this stage.

Taste and season. Take out the chicken and carve into generous chunks.

To serve, put a bit of chicken in the bottom of each bowl and cover with the soup. Top with a little grated Parmesan and serve with the toasts to make a good meal.