Delicious Appetizers and Soups

Cock-a-Leekie Soup
(a recipe of Cora Stapleton, Carlisle)

1 boiling fowl including legs and wings, 1lb (about 12) cleaned leeks cut into pieces of app. 1 inch, 4 pints stock or water, 1 oz long grained rice, 4 oz cooked and stoned prunes, one teaspoon brown sugar, salt and pepper, some bay leaf, parsley and thyme, 3 chopped rashers of streaky bacon.

Put the fowl 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 bird. Some thrifty chefs use the bird as another course, others cut the meat into small pieces and add them back to the soup (certainly it should have some pieces of chicken in it when served). Add the rice and drained prunes and the remaining leeks and simmer for another 30 minutes. Check for flavour and serve with a little chopped parsley.
Enough for 7 persons.

Cheddar Cheese Soup
(Sent in by Helen Hamilton, Capetown, South Africa)

1 small onion, chopped, 1 medium stalk celery (thinly sliced), 2 tablespoons butter or margarine,
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 can condensed chicken broth, 1 cup milk, 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, paprika

Cover and simmer onion and celery in butter in 2-quart saucepan until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, pepper and mustard. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth and bubbly and remove from heat. Add chicken broth and milk. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cheese; heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until cheese is melted. Do not boil the soup after the cheese has been added, as the soup may separate. Sprinkle soup with paprika.

Nettle Soup
(Sent in by James MacArthur, Ayr)

The common nettle, now despised as a weed, was long used as a vegetable in Scotland, especially in the Highlands. It´s a simple but delicious appetizer!

1 quart good chicken stock, 8 large handfuls of young nettle tops, 1 onion, 1 oz flour, 1 oz butter, salt and pepper.

Chop the onion and add the well-washed nettle tops. Cook in butter till soft. Add the flourand stock and season well. Boil everything and simmer for 5 minutes. Then sieve. Reheat, adjust seasoning and add a little cream if you like.

Hare Soup
(Sent in by Jenny Cunningham, Edinburgh)

1 hare, 2 carrots, 2 potatoes, 2 leeks, 2 sticks celery, 2 onions, 2 oz dripping, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, 1 glass port, 1 teaspoon red-currant jelly, 3 pints good stock, salt and pepper.

Cut the hare into pieces, reserve the blood and break or chop the bones. Melt the dripping in a pan and when hot add the hare and brown slowly. Then add the chopped vegetables, stock, herbs, salt and freshly ground pepper. Simmer slowly for about 3 hours. When cooked, strain through a sieve rubbing some of the meat through also. Pour into a clean pan and heat up, adding the blood to thicken but DO NOT BOIL! Add the port and red-currant jelly, adjust seasoning and serve.

Salmon Roe Paté
(Sent in by Heiner, Aachen, Germany)

1 lb salmon roe, 1/2 lb softened butter, lemon juice, salt and ground black pepper.

Cook the roe gently in a little water in a covered dish in the oven for 25 minutes, until the roe has turned pale pink. Cool, strain off, reserve the liquid and place the roe in a liquidiser. Blend until smooth, adding some liquid if necessary. Then add the softened butter, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Mix well, pour into pots and allow to cool. Serve with hot toast.

Cullen Skink
(Sent in by Jenny Cunningham, Edinburgh)

1 piece smoked haddock, 1 leek, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/2 pint water, 1/2 pint milk, 1 potato, parsley and a bay leaf, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon flour.

Chop up the white of the leek and soften in the butter. Add the haddock in small pieces, the diced potato, bay leaf, milk and water. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Mix the flour and butter together with a fork and then add to the liquid. Bring to boil, add salt and black pepper, scatter over some chopped parsley and serve.

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