Cock-A-Leekie Soup

I’m traveling this week, and feeling a little under the weather. These two events frequently coincide; that is just the price one pays for seeing new places and shaking new hands. So this week seems like an appropriate time to share one of my favorite chicken soups.

Cock-A-Leekie (sometimes spelled Cockie Leekie) is a Scottish soup likely derived from French chicken and onion soup during the Middle Ages. It was later adapted to Scottish regional ingredients (namely, leeks), and sometime down the line prunes were an added element of the dish – probably to increase the dish’s flavor and nutritional profile. The soup is often thickened with cooked rice or barley, or enjoyed plain, as in this recipe.

Fun fact: this soup is one of two items on the menu the day the Titanic sank.

Cock-A-Leekie Soup (Gluten-free, Paleo, Primal, Perfect Health Diet, Whole30-friendly)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy

1 tbsp butter
1 leek, tops separated, cut into big chunks
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/4 tsp dried dill
4 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
10-15 prunes
2 lbs leftover chicken, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
salt to taste

1. In a stockpot, warm the butter over medium heat. Add the leek tops, celery, and carrot; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, peppercorns, and dill, and sauté until the liquid evaporates, another 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves, and bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the broth, rinse out the stockpot, and return the stockpot and broth to the heat.

2. Increase heat to med/low, then add the leek bottoms, prunes, and leftover chicken. Simmer until the leeks are softened, about 20 minutes, then add salt to taste and serve.

** This dish can be made with raw chicken pieces. To do so, brown the chicken in butter and set aside before starting step #1, then return the chicken and its accumulated juices to the pot when you add the broth. Remove the chicken when it is tender, about 40 minutes, then strain the broth and proceed to step #2.

16 thoughts on “Cock-A-Leekie Soup

  1. Ha, with my luck I’m not sure I want to eat this after reading your factoid about the Titanic. I love leeks so I’ll be trying this recipe. (I save my green leek tops in the freezer for future stock making.) I know it would be fine to just eat the additions (carrots, herbs etc) but is there a reason for straining them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Heidi, good question – I strain them in order to keep with the traditional presentation of the dish – which is simply broth, chicken, prunes, and leeks – but I wanted to add more body and flavor to the broth. The strained ingredients can most definitely be eaten!

      Like

  2. Interesting recipe. After looking at the picture though, I am afraid my kids would not try it with such huge chunks of leek, and whole prunes. I might try it cutting everything up much smaller. Otherwise I suspect I am the only one in the house who would be eating it.

    Like

  3. I tried this soup last night at home. My 15 year-old son yells from the other room, “This soup is great.” He even came back for seconds. My wife (who is a somewhat picky eater) loved it. This is a great recipe. Definitely a keeper.

    Like

  4. Made this a couple weeks ago. It was so good I’m making it again tonight! Prunes? Heck yeah; it makes this soup delicious!

    Like

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