There is no resemblance between this and the famous Scottish Cock-a-Leekie soup; in particular there are no prunes. I just found the name amusing and these days I need all the amusement I can get, however feeble.
Leeks and bacon are a classic combination and broccoli works well with them too. Leeks are so sweet and agreeable they get along with everything, really. Toasted barley as my favourite soup thickener, and a little vinegar and Worcestershire sauce to sharpen it up, and it’s a sturdy, filling soup for chilly fall days. It will need a little something on the side, though, as these are not huge servings. We had ours with a grilled cheese sandwich and were very happy campers.
1 hour – 40 minutes prep time
1 head broccoli
2 medium leeks
4 to 6 shallots
1/4 cup barley flour
250 grams (1/2 pound) bacon
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Wash and trim the broccoli, and cut it into quite small pieces. Wash, trim, and chop the leeks finely. Peel and mince the shallots.
Heat a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the barley flour and cook it until it is the colour of a paper bag, stirring regularly. Watch it towards the end in particular, as it will toast quickly when it does.Turn it out onto a plate to cool at once.
Chop the bacon and cook it in the soup pot over medium heat until it has rendered most of the fat and turned fairly crisp. Add the shallots, and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly. Add the broccoli and shallots, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until they have softened and reduced slightly in volume.
Add the chicken stock, vinegar, and apple cider vinegar, and simmer for a further 10 minutes or so until the soup is thickened and the broccoli is cooked. Stir regularly.