Cock=A=Leekie is a Scottish Soup made of Leeks and Chicken (traditionally an old Rooster), Bacon and either Rice or Barley. I used Rice to keep it Gluten Free. And, instead of cooking a whole chicken, I made it quick by using Chicken Broth and cut up Chicken Breast. It is believed that the original recipe for this soup came from France and used Onions, but the Scots substituted the more available leeks.
Cock-A-Leekie is a soup with a lovely combination of flavors and is always served on St. Andrew's Day, which is November 30th. I'm a little early for that celebration, but it's delicious any time. And, since my son is living in St. Andrew's, it makes me think of him when I make it. There are two secret ingredients - one is a splash of white wine, which makes it a more sophisticated soup and the other is sliced rehydrated Prunes which adds a sweet note. With so many soups in the world, this one is relatively unknown and it's definitely one I love to make!
Quick Cock-A-Leekie Soup
1 large Leek (or 2 small), root end and darker green part cut off, quartered and sliced into thin strips
6 cups Chicken Broth (preferably homemade)
1 Tablespoon Butter
4 slices of Bacon, cut into small pieces
1 small Chicken Breast cut into small pieces (at least one cup diced)
1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) White Wine
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tablespoon minced Parsley
1/4 cup Long Grain Rice
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Black Pepper to taste
Optional: 4 Prunes, rehydrated in water, seed removed and slice thin.
Wash the Leek pieces in a colander and shake to dry. In a soup pot, melt the Butter and add in the Bacon pieces. Cook until the Bacon is no longer pink, but no crispy. Add in the Leeks and cook, stirring until the Leeks soften. Add in the Wine and then the Chicken Broth and add in the Thyme and Bay Leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes. Then add in the cut up Chicken, the Parsley the Rice and the Prunes if using.Turn heat up and bring back to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking for an additional 15 minutes. Serve immediately. If making ahead, cook only for the first 15 minutes. Cool and refrigerate. When ready to use, reheat to boiling and then add in the Chicken, Rice, Parsley and Prunes..Sprinkle with Black Pepper to serve.
Five Element Analysis
Soup is part of the Water Element and the Bacon adds even more Water. The Chicken and Chicken Broth contribute the Wood Element. The Fire Element is represented by the Wine the Prunes and the Black Pepper. The Leeks, Rice, Bay Leaf, Thyme and Parsley bring in the Metal Element. Only the Earth Element is missing so be sure to serve dessert!