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Scottish Cock-A-Leekie Soup

This is a very substantial soup which could also be a main course. It originally contained beef as well as chicken so if you have a small quantity of leftover joint or uncooked beef around add it to the dish. Cooked beef should be added towards the end of cooking time to prevent it becoming tough.

ingredients

serves 4 (as a meal)
15 g (1/2 oz) butter
275 - 350 g (10 - 12 oz) chicken (1 large or 2 small chicken portions)
350 g (12 oz) leeks, trimmed
1.1 litres (2 pints) chicken stock
1 bouquet garni
salt and pepper
6 prunes, stoned and halved
fresh parsley sprigs, to garnish

method

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and fry the chicken quickly until golden on all sides.

2. Cut the white part of the leeks into four lengthways and chop into 2.5 cm (1 inch) pieces, reserving the green parts. Wash well. Add the white parts to the pan and fry for 5 minutes, until soft.

3. Add the stock and bouquet garni and season to taste. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

4- Shred the reserved green parts of the leeks, then add
to the pan with the prunes. Simmer for a further
30 minutes.

5. To serve, remove the chicken, then cut the meat into large pieces, discarding the skin and bones. Put the meat in a warmed soup tureen and pour over the soup.

6. Serve hot, garnished with parsley sprigs.

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