Here is Elsie Palinko’s famous recipe for delicious Cock-a-Leekie soup.
This traditional soup, with prunes included in the ingredients, is mentioned as early as the 16th century. Elsie often serves it on St Andrew’s Night Dinner (30 November) and often in winter. Elsie believes that prunes are good for you and your constitution. You should eat a lot of them.
Here is her recipe:
Ingredients: 1 3-lb chicken, about 1lb leeks cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 quarts of water 1oz long grained rice 4oz cooked, stoned prunes One teaspoon brown sugar Salt and pepper Garni of bay leaf, parsley, and thyme.
Method: Put the chicken in a large soup and cover with water. Bring to the boil and remove any scum. Add three-quarters of the leeks, (green as well as white sections), herbs (tied together in a bundle), salt and pepper and return to the boil. Simmer gently for 2-3 hours, adding more water if necessary.
Remove the bird. Some thrifty chefs use the bird as another course, others cut the meat into small pieces and add them back to the soup (certainly it should have some pieces of chicken in it when served). Add the rice and drained prunes and the remaining leeks and simmer for another 30 minutes. Check for flavour and serve with a little chopped parsley.
Serves 6/8 people.