Cock-a-leekie Soup

An authentic Scottish recipe from

Serves 8 people.


3lb boiling chicken without giblets.
3 slices of fatty bacon (streaky).
1lb of shin of beef.
2 lb leeks.
1 large onion.
5 floz whisky.
4 pints water.
1 tablespoon dried tarragon.
salt and pepper.
8 prunes (soaked till soft).


  • Mix the tarragon, sugar, water and whisky together (marinade).
  • Chop the bacon.
  • Place the chicken, bacon and beef in a large bowl.
  • Pour on the marinade from step 1.
  • Leave to soak overnight.
  • Place the chicken and its marinade in a large soup pot.
  • Chop all but one leeks, plus the onion and add to the soup pot.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for two hours.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot, remove all meat and chop to small pieces.
  • Return chopped chicken to the pot.
  • Cut up the shin of beef and return to the pot (or serve separate).
  • Chop the saved leek, and add this along with the prunes.
  • Simmer for another 15 minutes to disperse the prune flavour.

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