It is likely convicted Scottish witch Helen Duncan enjoyed this traditional Scottish soup.
An ancient dish, with prunes included in the ingredients, is mentioned as early as the 16th century. It is often served at Burns Suppers or St Andrew’s Night Dinner (30 November) as well as an everyday soup in winter. Some people omit the prunes though.
It is also notorious for being on the Titanic menu on the day the boat sank.
Yield: 6-8 servings
1 stewing chicken, 4-5 pounds
1lb leeks (about 12) cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 pints stock or water
1oz long grained rice
4oz cooked, stoned prunes
One teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper
Garni of bay leaf, parsley, thyme
3 slices of bacon
Put the chicken and bacon in a large saucepan 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 chicken, bone and cut into small pieces and add them back into the soup. Add the rice, honey, drained prunes and the remaining leeks and simmer for another 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a little chopped parsley.