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Cock-a-leekie soup

A traditional Scottish soup made with chicken, leeks and surprisingly ? prunes.

  • Preparation Time15 mins
  • Cooking Time90 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyEasy
6 pitted prunes
4 tsp Scotch
One 1.6kg free-range chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 tsp salt plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
60g unsalted butter
6 medium leeks, (light green and white only), halved and cut into 1cm slices
10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1.18L chicken stock, homemade or tin of reduced salt stock
1) In a small bowl combine the prunes with the Scotch and two tablespoons of water and set aside.

2) Season the chicken with one teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Place a large saucepan or soup pot over a medium heat and melt half the butter. Saute the chicken on each side until well-browned, about ten minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and pour off any fat left in the pan.

3) Add the remaining butter to the pan and saute the leeks over a medium-low heat until tender, about 25 minutes.

4) Tie the parsley, thyme and bay leaf with a piece of kitchen twine. Add the herb bundle, the chicken and the stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and cook the soup for until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 25 minutes.

5) Remove the chicken and set aside to cool slightly. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim any fat from the surface of the soup with a spoon or ladle, if needed.

6) Remove the chicken meat from the bones and cut into 2.5cm chunks. Add the chicken cubes and the prunes and their liquid to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for two minutes. To serve divide the soup evenly among six warm soup bowls.

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