Cock-a-Leekie Soup


(Chicken and Leek soup) *** working/trial recipe

I had only recently discovered how incredibly awesome leeks could be when I found recipes for the Scottish dish known as Cock-a-Leekie while looking for something different to make than chicken and rice soup for my sick husband. From my very first experimental batch, he declared he wouldn't care if I never made chicken and rice again, he liked this so much better!

Although there is no one "right" way to make Cock-a-Leekie (there are many regional and historical variants), the dozens of the better recipes and articles on the dish I read indicated that the best Cock-a-Leekie starts with a broth made by simmering boney chicken with leeks and minimal spices for a long time to create a rich, flavorful liquid that is used to cook fresh leeks (and often a grain like rice or barley). The chicken used to make the broth is removed from the bones and is added back at the end in some way (sometimes placed in a bowl, with the leek soup ladeled over it).

The recipe I created ended up being surprisingly similar in ingredients and technique to the two sources I have listed below. Although prunes often figure in Cock-a-Leekie recipes, that is one element I wasn't brave enough to try, yet. I DID include carrot for color, and barley for extra bulk, taste, and texture, but the dish is wonderful even without them!

INGREDIENTS (for 2-4 people):

INSTRUCTIONS:

Sources:

I created this recipe after reading dozens of other recipes and articles on the dish, but my final product has much in common with the following two sources, which also include more information and links related to the history and variants of Cock-a-Leekie:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/nov/23/how-to-make-the-perfect-cock-a-leekie-soup
https://www.thespruce.com/traditional-cock-a-leekie-soup-435869