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Leek and chicken soup

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Leek and chicken soup

Here's a leek soup with a difference. It features the addition of prunes soaked in Madeira, which is a sweet fortified wine originating in Portugal. If you don't have any, use port or sweet sherry.


  • 1 chicken
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bayleaf
  • few peppercorns
  • few celery leaves for stock
  • 10 cups water
  • 4-5 medium sized leeks
  • 1 cup chopped prunes
  • ¼ cup Madeira
  • 1 cup chopped celery leaves


  1. Wash the chicken and remove the giblets. Put in a large stock pot with the oil and cook over a moderate heat, browning the chicken on all sides.
  2. Cut the onion in half, wash the carrot and chop coarsely. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan and allow the vegetables to brown.
  3. Add the bayleaf, peppercorns and water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1½ hours until the meat falls off the bone.
  4. Remove the chicken and cool. Strain the stock, discard the vegetables and return clear stock to the saucpan.
  5. Trim the ends from the leeks. Cut into thin slices, wash thoroughly, add to the stock and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Pour the Madeira and ½ cup stock over the prunes and set aside.
  7. Season the soup with salt and pepper and just before serving, add the prunes. Simmer 2 minutes. Serve with oatcakes or crusty rolls.

Cooks Tips

- Celery leaves are full of flavour, so add them to soups, salads and sauces.

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