Monday, September 5, 2011

Recipe: Cock-a-Leekie Soup (Chicken & Leek Soup)

The traditional version of this soup is Scottish in origin, with many regional variations in preparation.  Some versions feature barley, but to make it gluten free, rice could be added instead.  I actually prefer mine without the rice, so the recipe below doesn't list it as an ingredient.  If you want to add rice to your soup, add 1/4- 1/3 cup of it during Step #3, and cook until rice is cooked through or add already cooked rice at the end.

Ingredients
1 chicken, rinsed and cut into 8 pieces (leave skin and bones, they'll be removed later)
1 onion, quartered                                                   2 carrots, quartered
2 stalks celery, quartered + celery leaves                 1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves garlic, peeled & lightly crushed         10 peppercorns
1/4 tsp. dried thyme                                                Pinch nutmeg
6 cups chicken stock or broth                                  1 lb. potatoes (about 4) peeled & diced
2 leeks, white parts sliced + green parts separate      Juice from 1/4 lemon
salt & pepper                                                          1/2 cup dairy free cream or milk (optional)

Directions: 
1- Wash and prepare chicken and vegetables.  In a large soup pot, place chicken pieces, onion, carrot, celery stalks & leaves, garlic cloves, bay leaf, peppercorns, green parts of leeks, thyme & marjoram, and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil & cover.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until chicken juices run clear when pierced with a fork (approx. 40-50 min.).  If any foam rises to the surface, skim off and discard.

2- When cooked through, remove chicken pieces and set aide to cool.  Strain the stock into a large bowl.  Discard the vegetables and return the stock to the pot. 

3- Add the sliced white parts of leeks and potatoes.  Simmer until potatoes are soft.  Using an immersion blender, blend soup leaving some chunky pieces of potato. 

4- By this point, the chicken would be cool enough to handle.  Remove skin and discard.  Pull meat from bones, shredding into bite sized pieces.  Discard bones.  Return shredded chicken to pot.

5- If using cream or dairy free substitute, add now and stir to blend.  Add lemon juice & nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Ladle into warm bowls and garnish with some chopped parsley if desired.  Some grated Parmesan cheese is also nice on top if you're not dairy free. 




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