The first time I heard about Cock a Leekie Soup was from you. What’s the origins of this stuff? How did you learn about it?
Leeks are abundant and used in many Welsh dishes. My dad used to talk about some of the dishes his mother used to make, she being a grandaughter of the converts who came to the U.S. from Wales. She died when I was very young, so unfortunately I don't have her family recipes. I do remember my dad talking about her delicious rice pudding, though. In doing research for my book I wanted to lend an authenticity to it and so incorporated some traditional Welsh dishes.
You have many Welsh recipes on your website that are also in your book, ALL THAT WAS PROMISED. Care to share one?
The cawl was delicious.
Traditional Welsh Cawl
4 tablespoons bacon fat
2 pounds Chuck roast cut into 1" pieces
3 pints vegetable stock (Can use 4-5 14oz. vegetable stock from cans)
1 pound peas, shelled or frozen
1 pound broad beans, shelled or frozen, cut into smaller pieces
1/2 pound cauliflower or small bag frozen, cut into small florets
1 medium leek, diced, rinse well before cutting
1 large carrot, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium turnip, peel and dice
1 medium parsnip, peel and dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 leaves lettuce, sliced thin
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Begin with a large soup pot. Place the bacon fat and vegetables (except for the cauliflower and lettuce, they go in later) into the pot and brown lightly. Remove the vegetables to a bowl, and put the beef into the pot and brown lightly.
2. Add the vegetables back into the pot, and put in the vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper.
3. Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours.
4. Add the cauliflower and lettuce and simmer again for 20 minutes.
5. Check the salt and pepper and adjust if necessary.
6. Serve piping hot with crusty bread.
How did you research Welsh cooking? Have you tried these recipes yourself?
My research was done largely on the internet, linking to authentic sites in Wales. Yes, I tried all the recipes, with my sister's help, and will do so for book two which hopefully will also be picked up by my publisher.
Which recipe is your favorite?
It's a tie between the cawl and the whipod (rice pudding). The pudding is thick and creamy and quite rich, but oh, so good!
Can you give a quick blurb about your book?
In 1847 young Methodist minister, Richard Kenyon, converts to Mormonism. Richard's newfound faith is put to the test as he faces down the anger of his former congregation, his wife's indecisiveness, the betrayal of his brother, and the murderous intentions of misinformed villagers.
Thanks for sharing your historical good eats with everyone, Vickie. Best of luck with your novel!
Thank YOU, Danielle. It was a pleasure!
Find out more about her at Vickie Hall's Website