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Cock A Leekie Recipe

A Scottish soup, dating back to at least the 16th century, containing chicken, shin of beef, leeks and barley.

Until recent times the soup also included prunes, and is thought to be much better my many gourmets with this neglected addition

Ingredients

For 8 helpings:



16 Prunes, soaked overnight, then cooked in fresh water for 30-40 minutes

4 Chicken drumsticks or 2 Thighs - both left with their bones in

4-6 oz/120-160gr Stewing Beef - shin if possible (as it gives the best texture)

1 Bouquet Garni or bundle of herbs, including a Bay Leaf

4 oz/120gr Pearl Barley

4 big Leeks, split from the green end, then carefully washed - chop them, keeping the dark green pieces separate

Salt & freshly-ground Black Pepper

5 pints/2.2 litres Water



Equipment needed: a deep flameproof pot, large enough to hold all the ingredients

Method

-
Drain the prunes, discarding their water (unless you're cooking pork chops - in which case it can be kept in the fridge, and is excellent for deglazing the pan and making a good sauce with a little red currant jelly)

-
Put the chicken and beef pieces in the pan and add the water.

-
Bring these slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Carefully shim off any froth.

-
Add the herbs and the dark green chopped pieces of the leeks. Cook for about 30 minutes, then add the white chopped leeks, stoned prunes and the pearl barley. Cook for a further 30 minutes.

-
Remove the chicken and beef from the soup and allow them to cool for a few minutes.

-
Remove the chicken meat from its bones and chop this up with the beef - discarding any bones, skin and sinews.

-
Return the meat pieces to the soup.

-
Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.



Serve - perhaps with good bread to make a full meal.

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