‘Soup is the perfect pick-me-up after coming in from a hard day of work’, says Tom Kitchin, who has provided us with this traditional recipe for cock-a-leekie soup.

  • 2-3 hours
  • Easy
Cock-a-leekie is one of my favourite soups and such a fantastic Scottish classic. The traditional recipe calls for leeks and chicken stock which are then thickened with barley. Prunes are also added during cooking and I still like to use them in my recipe to give the dish balance and that little taste of sweetness. Barley and grains are a great way to add depth and texture to your soups and they can also add bulk so the dish is much more filling, warming and sustaining. It’s the perfect pick-me-up after coming in from the cold of winter.

Ingredients

  • For the soup:
  • 1 whole free-range chicken
  • 1 leek
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 5 white peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  • 200g basmati rice
  • 50g chopped prunes (optional)
  • 20g chopped parsley
  • 1 chopped leek

Method

1 In a large pan cover the chicken with cold water and bring to the boil. Add the vegetables and herbs and cook slowly for two or three hours until the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the stock and season to taste.

2 Meanwhile, cook the basmati rice and chopped leeks in boiling salted water. Chop the prunes (optional if you want to add them) and parsley, keeping aside for garnish.

3 Break away the chicken from the bone.

To serve

In a bowl place the cooked rice, chicken, prunes (optional) and chopped parsley. Cover in stock and serve.

Like this? See also:

A history of the Clootie Dumpling, including a recipe for making your own

Traditional Scottish recipe: Potato scones

About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.