Thursday, 20 July 2017

"Cock"-A-Leekie Soup

This is a traditional Scottish soup involving chicken and leeks. I loved the Iain Hewitson recipe for this when I was younger so I thought I'd make a vegan version, unfortunately I couldn't find his online. I used a bunch of different recipes online to make this as I couldn't find one I liked. This is a lovely hearty soup, great for winter months and when you're sick. The rice makes it more of a hearty meal but you can leave it out or replace it with your choice of grain (traditionally rice or barley). If you're not adding a grain you can add less stock.
Additionally, a bit of history, this dish was the soup choice on the Titanic the night it sank.


"Cock"-A-Leekie Soup

Ingredients

3 pitted prunes
2 teaspoons Scotch
1-2 Blocks extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/4 inch strips or squares (alternatively you can use faux chicken strips)
1 teaspoon kosher salt or "chicken" salt if you have any
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons vegan butter
3 medium leeks, (light green and white only), halved and cut into 1/2 inch slices
3-5 carrots
5 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
5 Sage leaves
1 sprig Rosemary
1 bay leaf
6 cups vegan chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup uncooked rice


Method

In a small bowl combine the prunes with the Scotch and 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.
Season the tofu with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper (or you can do this the night before).
In a large frying pan over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoons of the butter.
Saute the tofu on each side until well-browned, about 10 minutes, then leave to the side.
Add the remaining butter to a large sauce pan/soup pot, saute the leeks over medium-low until tender, about 25 minutes.
Place all the herbs in a nut milk bag (or tie with twine/add loose but the bag means you don't have to strain the soup later).
Add the herb bundle, the tofu and the broth to the pot.
Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and cook the soup for until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 25 minutes, if using rice add it in about 10 minutes from the end.
Remove the herb bundle and discard.
Add the prunes, and their liquid to the soup.
Season with salt and pepper, simmer for 2 minutes before serving.
Remove the prunes if you want to - if you leave them once stored the soup will be slightly sweeter so it's completely up to preference.
After being stores the soup but have become thick due to the rice so just add some extra water or stock before reheating.

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