James Martin gives the classic restorative Scottish soup a twist – the prunes add a sweet contrast to the rich chicken broth
- Serves: 6 persons
- 1tbsp vegetable oil
- 1medium chicken , jointed into pieces
- 180g smoked bacon lardon
- 2carrots , chopped
- 2celery sticks, chopped
- 1-2 leeks , washed and cut into thick rounds (tops reserved)
- splash of white wine
- 2bay leaves
- ½bunch thyme sprigs
- 15-20 stoned prunes
- good-quality bread , to serve
Step 1Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan until hot. Fry the chicken pieces in batches until golden brown, then remove and set aside. Add the bacon, carrots, celery and leek tops, and fry for 5 mins until it all starts to brown. Pour off any excess fat.
Step 2Splash in the wine and boil rapidly, scraping the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken pieces with the herbs and add enough cold water to cover. Slowly bring to the boil, then simmer for 40 mins until the chicken is tender.
Step 3Remove the chicken to a plate, cover with foil and leave to cool slightly. Strain the soup into a clean saucepan and discard all the other ingredients. Leave to stand for a few mins and skim off any fat that rises to the top. Pull the meat from the chicken bones and tear into large chunks.
Step 4Simmer the soup with the chicken, leeks and prunes for another 20-30 mins. Season to taste and serve with really good bread.