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 Cock-a-Leekie Soup

There has been a long tradition in Scotland of family firms being bought over and eventually either being closed down or run as branch factories. Many firms which once were household names have simply disappeared. But one family company which has resisted all take over approaches and remained firmly Scottish based is Baxters of Fochabers. Indeed the company has turned down so many take over bids that it could be heading for an entry in the "Guinness Book of Records". They are considering creating a new category to include Baxters record number of refusals - 191 since 1946. Baxters, famous makers of soups, sauces, pickles and preserves, are proud of their Fochaber roots and loyal to their workforce. The firm was started in 1868, when George Baxter, one of 50 gardeners at Gordon Castle in the village of Fochabers, set up business with a 100 loan from his family. From the original grocers shop, set up by George Baxter, the company now employs some 800 workers and uses local vegetable and fruit growers and has turned down offers from multi-nationals such as Unilever, Heinz and McCain. As well as becoming a Scottish success story, Baxters is also a popular tourist attraction with some 230,000 making the trip to its visitor centre on the banks of the River Spey each year. Long may Baxters uphold their position as a leading independent Scottish company. Their motto speaks for itself - "be different, be better" - and this has led them to winning a world-wide reputation for excellence. Ena Baxter, wife of company president Gordon Baxter, did much to enhance the reputation of the company and especially its soup brand. So like Ena Baxter you can make and enjoy the delights of Cock-a-Leekie soup.

Cock-a-Leekie Soup
Ingredients: 2 1/2 - 3 lb boiling fowl; 6 pt water; 2 medium onions, finely chopped; Bay leaf, sprig of thyme and some parsley stalks; salt and pepper; 1 1/4 lb leeks, finely chopped; 2 oz long grain rice. Garnish with chopped parley.
Put the fowl into a large deep pot and add water. Bring slowly to the boil then skim and reduce to a gentle simmer. Now add the herbs ( tied together ), salt and pepper, onions, and the white part of the leeks. Simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Half-an-hour before the end of cooking add the rice. Remove the bird and leave to cool slightly. Add the green of the leek and cook for another 10 minutes. When the bird is cool enough, remove some of the flesh and chop up roughly. Return to the soup and heat through. Check seasoning, remove herbs and serve garnished with parsley.


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