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Cock-A-Leekie Soup from Scotland

This hearty chicken and leek soup is considered to be the national soup in Scotland.


1 2.5- to 3-pound broiler-fryer chicken, cut up 
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced (1.5 cups) 
1 small potato, peeled and diced (1/2 cup) 
1/2 cup quick-cooking barley 
1/2 Cup finely chopped celery 
1/2 Cup finely chopped carrot 
1/4 Cup finely chopped onion 
2 sprigs parsley 
1 bay leaf 
1/2 cup pitted, dried prunes, snipped 
2 cups light cream or milk 
4 cups water 
2 teaspoons salt 
1/4 teaspoon white pepper 
Sliced leeks (optional)

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  1. Rinse chicken pieces.

  2. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven combine chicken pieces, water, carrot, celery , onion, parsley, salt, white pepper , and bay leaf. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 25 minutes or till chicken is tender.

  3. Remove chicken pieces from broth. Skim off fat. Remove bay leaf and parsley.

  4. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin and bones. Cut up chicken.

  5. Add chicken, leeks, potato, barley, and prunes to broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. 
    Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or till potato is tender.

  6. Stir in cream or milk. Heat through. Garnish each serving with additional sliced leeks, if desired.

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