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Jan 23, 2018
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Cock-a-Leekie Soup
Serves 4 to 6
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Photo by Greg Rannells
April 2013

Cock-a-Leekie Soup
Read the article: Falling in Love with Leeks


4 leeks
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 quarts chicken stock
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
½ cup uncooked pearled barley
1½ tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. salt plus more to taste
1 cup pitted prunes, quartered (about 8 prunes)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Hearty bread for serving


• First, prepare the leeks: Trim the root end and discard it. Cut off the dark green parts and discard (or rinse and save for a stock). Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and place them in a bowl of cold water. Swish, then let sit as dirt and grit settle at the bottom of the bowl. Lift the leeks out of the bowl and into a colander. Rinse well under cold water.
Slice into ½-inch-thick half-rings and set aside.
• In a large pot, add the parsnip, carrot, celery, bay leaves and chicken stock. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
• Add the chicken breasts and thighs to the pot and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken to a bowl to cool. Remove the bay leaves and discard.
• Add the leeks, barley, curry powder, allspice and salt to the broth, and simmer over low heat until the leeks are soft, about 30 to 40 minutes.
• Meanwhile, skin and de-bone the chicken and chop the meat into small pieces. Set aside.
• Once the leeks are soft, add the meat and prunes to the soup. Simmer until the prunes are soft, about 5 minutes.
• Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
• Divide among 4 to 6 bowls and serve with hearty bread.

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