5-2 Diet Cockaleekie Soup

5-2 Diet Cockaleekie Soup for Burns Night or a Fast Day!

I’ve been making and eating cockaleekie soup since I was a child.  My father’s cockaleekie recipe, involving stock made from the weekend’s roast, pearl barley, potatoes and a lot of leeks was one of the first recipes I published on London-Unattached.  But, totally unsuitable for the 5-2 diet and actually rather time consuming too.

So with Burns Night fast approaching, I started to yearn for some good traditional Scottish food.  And decided I’d see if it was possible to create a cockaleekie soup that DID work for the 5-2 diet fast day.

While this isn’t super low in calories, it’s closer to a meal than a soup, with half a chicken breast per (large) helping.  It’s filling, warming and for me is an ultimate comfort dish.  In fact the way I made it was quite different to my Dad’s original version.  Almost a fusion dish, the chicken is added to the stock and leek mixture in the last few minutes of cooking so that it stays tender and moist. The result looks more like an Asian soup than the very creamy version I was brought up on but the flavour is sublime.  I did try adding prunes to the bowl, but if I’m honest I’ll probably leave them out next time.

5:2 Diet Cockaleekie Soup

Serves 2
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Meal type Soup
Misc Serve Cold
Region British


  • 1 Medium Leek (Cleaned and chopped into 2cm slices)
  • 1 Medium Onion (Peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 Medium Chicken Breast (150g weight)
  • 500ml Chicken Stock
  • 300ml Water
  • handful Fresh Parsley
  • 6 Prunes (Stoned and sliced)
  • 25g Rice
  • 3 shots One cal oil


Step 1 Gently fry the chopped onion in a heavy based pan sprayed with one-cal. Once soft and transparent, add the leeks and cook for a further minute or two
Step 2 Pour in the stock and water and add the rice. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes
Step 3 Add the chicken, shredded into thin matchsticks and cook for a further 2-3 minutes
Step 4 Stir through the prunes and chopped parsley and check seasoning.
Step 5 Serve

I’ve worked out the calories based on two very healthy servings.  Half of the amount I made has been my main meal for the day and every bit as filling as, for instance, a stir-fry.

cockaleekie soup - 5-2 diet


5-2 diet cockaleekie soup



My Meal Planning for this 5-2 Diet fast day has been as follows:

Milk for coffee and tea – 50 calories


Miso soup – 20 calories

Tangerine – 17 calories


Cockaleekie Soup – 264 calories

Bed time snack:

Jacobs crackers and philadelphia light – 100 calories

Total 451 calories.

If like me you are following the 5-2 diet, please do check my 5-2 diet tips.  The recipes that I’ve been adapting for my 5-2 diet fast days are also suitable for other low calorie diets although all my calorie counts are estimates.  I’ve been following the diet now for 4 months and have lost over 7kg.  What’s more that’s despite my eclectic lifestyle, eating out up to 4 times a week!  So, it does work.  I feel better on the 5-2 diet and I’m losing weight.  And, the sacrifices are minimal and fit around my everyday way of life!

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  1. Pamela Morse says

    This recipe is worth a veg tweeking..prunes, eh? I will skip the fake chicken, and just go with chicken flavored veg bullion + the rest of it…Is this word Scotish?

    • says

      well I think it’s a derivation of cock and leek;) If you are making a veggie version I’d use my dad’s original – which has potato and pearl barley, I think you’ll get more depth of flavour that way. It’s very warming!

    • says

      Burns night is a celebration of Robert Burn’s death. You can find more about it here on this post…traditionally it involves piping in a Haggis and then reading a long poem to it (by Robert Burns, so in Scottish). Cockaleekie soup is the sort of thing that might be served for the first course, then Haggis Tatties and Neeps (mashed potato and swede) and then Cranachan!

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