Warm and Comforting: Scottish Highland Chicken Soup Recipe

Welcome to my Scottish Highland Chicken Soup recipe, where I take one of Scotland’s most beloved soup dishes and put my own twist on it! This recipe is perfect for warming you up on a cold day or enjoying with friends and family during a cozy night in.

As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I’ve had the pleasure of experimenting with various techniques and ingredients to create this hearty dish. Scottish chicken soup, also known as Cock-a-Leekie soup, is a staple recipe in Scotland, especially during Burns Night celebrations. But in this recipe, I’m adding rich flavors from the Scottish Highlands, such as whiskey and cream.

The comforting aroma of savory broth and cooked chicken lingers in the air as you prepare this dish. The creamy texture is balanced out by the sharpness of leeks, making it an excellent comfort food that you’ll want to indulge in again and again.

Follow me through this recipe and get ready to take your taste buds on a fantastic adventure through the Scottish Highlands!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Scottish Highland Chicken Soup
Scottish Highland Chicken Soup

Ladies and gentlemen, if you are looking for a hearty, comforting soup that is perfect for cold weather, I have just the recipe for you. Get ready, because I am excited to share with you my Scottish Highland Chicken Soup Recipe, a.k.a. Scotch Broth or Cock-a-Leekie.

Picture this: succulent boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked to perfection, mixed with leeks, carrots, and barley in a delicious and rich low-sodium chicken broth. To make it even more special, I include some minced almonds and hard-boiled egg yolks to add some crunch and a creamy texture. The nutmeg and white pepper give it the perfect balance of warmth and seasonings. Finally, swirl in some heavy cream and lemon juice to bring all of the flavors together.

I know what you are thinking: “All right, but what makes this soup so special?” I’ll tell you – it’s the combination of tradition and comfort wrapped in one bowl. It’s about bringing Scottish heritage straight into your kitchen. On Burns Night or any other day of the week that calls for something special, nothing hits the spot like a steaming bowl of Highlands Chicken Soup.

The Highland Chicken Soup isn’t just any soup; it’s hearty enough to be a meal on its own, yet so satisfying that you’ll feel transported into Scotland itself. This recipe is versatile enough to be served as an appetizer or main course alike. It can also be stored in large batches and reheated throughout the week without losing flavor or texture.

So come on, try this Highland Chicken Soup recipe today! I guarantee it will be an instant classic among your friends and family.

Ingredient List

 A hearty bowl of Scottish Highland Chicken Soup to warm you up on a winter day
A hearty bowl of Scottish Highland Chicken Soup to warm you up on a winter day

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you will need for this hearty and flavorful Scottish Highland Chicken Soup recipe.


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and minced
  • 4 hard-boiled egg yolks, grated

Dairy Products

  • 4 fluid ounces milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  • 4 large leeks, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 cups low-sodium chicken broth


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg


  • 4 almonds, ground

Make sure to have all ingredients on hand before starting cooking to make the process smoother. While some may be easy to find in your local grocery store, others may require planning ahead or even ordering online. Regardless of where you purchase the ingredients for this soup recipe, make sure they are fresh and high-quality to ensure the best flavors.

The Recipe How-To

 The rich, savory broth of this soup will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished
The rich, savory broth of this soup will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished

Now that we have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to put them together to create a warm and hearty Scottish Highland Chicken Soup. Follow these simple steps to make a delicious bowl of soup.


  1. Begin by poaching the boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a large pan. To do this, add enough low-sodium chicken broth and cold water to cover the chicken. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

  2. Take out the chicken from the pan and shred it finely using two forks.

  3. Strain the broth into a large bowl and set aside.


  1. In another large pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add large leeks that have been chopped into small pieces and cook for about 10 minutes or until they are soft but not browned.

  2. Add 8 cups of chicken stock or reserved broth along with one bay leaf, two hard-boiled egg yolks, two tablespoons of lemon juice and one pinch each of freshly grated nutmeg, white pepper, and salt. Let it simmer for 30 minutes.

  3. Remove bay leaf from the soup.

  4. Finally, add the prepared shredded chicken, stir in 4 tablespoons of ground almonds, and pour in half a cup of heavy cream (optional) while constantly stirring over low heat until hot.


This highland chicken soup pairs well with a slice of hearty thick white bread (traditional scotch broth) or some mashed potatoes (scottish tattie soup). It can be garnished with some fresh herbs or some crumbled bacon on top.

Enjoy your Scottish Highland Chicken Soup!

Substitutions and Variations

 A perfect way to use up leftover chicken from your Sunday roast
A perfect way to use up leftover chicken from your Sunday roast

If you’re looking to mix up this Scottish Highland Chicken Soup recipe or make some changes, there are several substitutions and variations you can try.

Firstly, if you want to add more veggies or replace some of the protein, there are several options. Instead of using boneless skinless chicken breasts, you could use chicken thighs for a richer taste or even roast chicken for added depth of flavor. Alternatively, you could add some lentils or barley for a heartier soup.

If you’re vegetarian and want to skip the chicken altogether, you can easily omit it and replace the low sodium chicken broth with vegetable broth instead. You could also add extra veggies like carrots, celery or mushrooms to bulk up the soup.

For those looking to amp up the spice factor, try adding a dash of cayenne pepper or paprika to give it an extra kick. Or for those who love cheese, sprinkle some grated cheddar on top before serving.

If you want to make the soup more decadent, substitute heavy cream for milk for a richer texture. You could also add a splash of whiskey for a little Scottish twist.

As for variations, why not try making an authentic Scotch Broth by replacing the chicken with lamb and adding in root vegetables like turnips or swedes. Or try making Cock-a-Leekie soup by using prunes or dates along with leeks and chicken.

In conclusion, there are many ways to make Scottish Highland Chicken Soup your own by substituting ingredients and trying out different variations, so have fun experimenting in the kitchen!

Serving and Pairing

 The combination of carrots and leeks adds both color and flavor to this dish
The combination of carrots and leeks adds both color and flavor to this dish

The Scottish Highland Chicken Soup is a hearty and comforting dish that is perfect for warming up on a cold winter day. This soup can be served as a starter or as a main dish, paired with some crusty bread or biscuits on the side.

When it comes to pairing this soup with other dishes, there are many options to choose from. For example, you can go for a classic Scottish culinary experience by pairing it with Haggis or some traditional Cock-a-Leekie soup. If you’re looking for something lighter, then serve it with a simple salad made of greens tossed in some lemon dressing.

If you’re serving the soup as a main course, you can add some cooked potatoes or rice to make it more filling. And don’t forget to top it off with some freshly ground black pepper and a splash of cream just before serving.

This soup also pairs well with a variety of beverages. You can opt for a traditional Scottish whisky to complement the smoky flavors of the broth, or you can stick to a light beer or wine for a more subtle flavor pairing.

Overall, this Scottish Highland Chicken Soup is an incredibly versatile dish that goes well with many different flavors and dishes. Whether you’re serving it as a starter or as the main course, it’s sure to impress your guests and fill them up on those long winter nights.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A sprinkle of fresh herbs on top makes for a beautiful presentation
A sprinkle of fresh herbs on top makes for a beautiful presentation

Our Scottish Highland Chicken Soup is not only delicious, but it can also be made ahead of time and stored for later. This makes it the perfect soup to add to your meal prep rotation or serve during a busy week.

To make ahead, let the soup cool down to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Store the container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to enjoy this scrumptious soup again, simply thaw overnight if frozen and reheat over medium heat until hot. Occasionally stir it so that it heats evenly. Be careful not to raise the temperature too high as this may cause the cream to separate.

If you’ve made a large batch of soup and have leftovers, store them in an airtight container immediately after cooking and refrigerate within 2 hours. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheating cold soup should always be done gradually with a lower heat setting as heating the soup too quickly can cause it to lose its flavor and texture. Adjust seasoning with additional salt, pepper or lemon juice before serving if desired.

By making our Scottish Highland Chicken Soup ahead of time or storing leftovers properly, you’ll always have a comforting and delicious meal ready whenever you want it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This soup is a great source of protein and veggies for a balanced meal
This soup is a great source of protein and veggies for a balanced meal

As a Scottish cuisine specialist, I’ve got some tips and tricks to elevate your Highland Chicken Soup. Here are some tips for perfect results:

Firstly, make sure the chicken is cooked through before mincing it. Using raw chicken will not only change the flavor, but can also put you at risk of food poisoning. Secondly, use low sodium chicken broth as other types can be overly salted and can overpower the flavors of the recipe.

When adding in the leeks, make sure to really give them a thorough washing as they can be gritty – nobody likes a gritty soup! Cutting them into thin strips instead of big chunks will help them cook faster and distribute more evenly throughout the soup.

Adding in a pinch of nutmeg, white pepper, and lemon juice can give your Highland Chicken Soup an extra depth of flavor without being too overpowering. Remember to taste and adjust accordingly – sometimes a generous pinch is all that’s needed.

For an extra creamy and rich soup, use heavy cream instead of milk. It not only gives a velvety texture but also mellows out any spice notes in the recipe. Be sure to add it at the end of cooking to avoid curdling!

Finally, don’t be afraid to make this recipe your own by adding in your favorite vegetables such as carrots or potatoes. Making small tweaks like that can take it from being just any homemade soup to a dish that truly feels special.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to whip up a pot of authentic Scottish Highland Chicken Soup that will transport you straight to the Scottish highlands with each spoonful.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Scottish Highland Chicken Soup recipe is a must-try for all soup lovers out there. With its rich and hearty flavors that are unique to Scottish cuisine, you’ll definitely feel like you’re transported to the Scottish Highlands with every spoonful. The traditional ingredients like leeks, chicken thighs, and whisky cream give this dish an authentic taste that will satisfy your cravings for savory chicken soup.

Don’t be intimidated by the unique ingredients or preparation process! With our easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips, you’ll be able to make a perfect pot of Scottish Highland Chicken Soup in no time. Plus, with its versatility in substitutions and variations, you can easily adjust the recipe to suit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions.

Whether you’re celebrating Burns Night, hosting a dinner party with friends, or simply looking for a comforting bowl of soup on a rainy day, this recipe is sure to impress. So why not give it a try and bring a taste of Scotland into your own home?

Scottish Highland Chicken Soup

Scottish Highland Chicken Soup Recipe

Course Soup
Cuisine Scottish
Keyword < 60 Mins, Chicken, Christmas, Easy, European, Fruit, Inexpensive, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Meat, Poultry, Scottish, Stove Top, Thanksgiving, Very Low Carbs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Calories 320.8kcal


  • 1 slice hearty thick white bread
  • 4 fluid ounces milk
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and minced
  • 4 almonds, ground
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled,yolks only
  • 32 fluid ounces low sodium chicken broth
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 fluid ounces heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced cooked chicken


  • Remove the crusts from the bread and place the bread in small saucepan.
  • Cover with the milk and bring to a boil.
  • Set aside and allow to cool a bit.
  • Pound the minced chicken, almonds and hard-boiled yolks in a mortar until smooth, and then place in a large bowl.
  • Gradually beat in the bread and milk.
  • Stir in the stock, and then pass through a sieve into a saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper, add the nutmeg and lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes; remove from the heat.
  • Beat the egg yolks with the cream and blend in 3 tablespoonfuls of the hot soup.
  • Stir the mixture into the soup and heat gently for 2 or 3 minutes.
  • When it thickens, serve with the diced chicken as a garnish.


Serving: 407g | Calories: 320.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.3g | Protein: 26.3g | Fat: 20.1g | Saturated Fat: 9.9g | Cholesterol: 282.8mg | Sodium: 226mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 1g

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