A Vegan Burns Supper (Includes Cock-a-Leekie Soup, Vegan Haggis & Clootie Dumpling)

As I’m Scottish and Burns Night is just a couple of days away (25th Jan) I thought I’d share recipes I’ve penned for our home-made Burns Supper.

Traditionally a Burns Supper is a bit of an offal fest and a fair number of meat eaters prefer a veggie or vegan option to the traditional Scottish Fayre. I created these recipes with that in mind. The meal consists of:

  • Starter: Cock-a-leekie Soup
  • Main: Haggis Neeps & Tatties
  • Dessert: Clootie Dumpling

At a Burns Supper before the starter is served the Selkirk Grace is spoken to the assembled guests, it’s not a very vegan friendly verse, nor suitable for the agnostic/atheists among us, so, much as I’ve done with the tradition of the Burns Supper food-wise; feel free to veganise:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

Burns Supper Feast

  • Cock-A-Leekie (Leek & Potato) Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1lb leeks, cleaned, trimmed & chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed & chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled, quartered & chopped
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock
  • 25g long-grain rice, uncooked
  • 100g of precooked prunes with stones removed (leave these out if you’re not keen)
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • Parsley to garnish

Method

  1. In a large thick-bottomed soup pot or saucepan heat the oil, then gently sauté the diced leek in the oil for a few minutes.
  2. Add the remaining vegetables to the pan, along with the rice. Continue to sauté for a further 10 minutes stirring frequently to stop the rice from sticking.
  3. Pour in stock and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 20 minutes
  4. Add prunes to the soup (if using) then simmer for a further 20 minutes
  5. Sprinkle in thyme and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Garnish bowls with chopped parsley and serve.

Before I move on to the Haggis recipe, back to the Burns’ supper tradition. Prior to serving the haggis Robert Burns’ poem Address to a Haggis is spoken by the chef  to the haggis, rather than assembled guests. It’s a long ‘un so I’ll print only the last verse which, at more informal suppers is often the only verse spoken. Find the full version here.

Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
Gie her a haggis!

  • Haggis, Neeps & Tatties (Haggis, Turnip & Mashed Potato)

Vegan Haggis

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (porridge oats are fine)
  • 1/2 cup of cooked brown or black lentils
  • 50 g  shelled walnuts, chopped
  • 1 large onion, peeled & chopped
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 6 closed cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • One can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Knob of dairy-free margarine or butter

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC)
  2. Put the oats in a bowl and cover with water, let it stand for at least one hour. Then drain excess water thoroughly.
  3. Place the lentils in a pan of water and boil for 20 – 30 minutes until soft (time may vary according to type of lentils used). When the lentils are ready, drain and rinse.
  4. Sauté the onion in the oil until it is soft. Add the carrots and mushrooms and chopped walnuts, and cook for a little longer. Then add the spices, soy sauce, cooked lentils and about a quarter of the kidney beans.
  5. In a food processor or blender, puree the remaining the beans to form a thick paste (add a little water if paste is too thick). Add this to the lentil and vegetable mixture.
  6. Finally, add the drained oatmeal, salt, pepper, and garlic. If the mixture is too dry add margarine/butter and mix together well.
  7. Transfer to an oven-proof dish or individual ramekins and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Mashed Potato

Nothing much differs from general mashed potato, a fine veganised recipe appears here: Vegan Mashed Potato

Bashed Neeps / Mashed Turnip

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sized turnips, peeled & diced
  • Water
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • Knob of vegan margarine
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add chopped turnip, lower to a medium to high heat and cook for 20 minutes
  2. When they are tender, drain and return to the pot, mash with a potato masher.
  3. Stir in margarine and soy milk and mash until well combined.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Clootie Dumpling

Ingredients

If making this using the traditional method you should start by sterilising a tea towel in boiling water for 5 minutes, the dumpling will be cooked in this.

  • 4 oz flour
  • 2 oz white breadcrumbs
  • 3 oz vegetarian suet
  • 2 oz soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 5 oz currents
  • 3-4 tablespoon soy milk

Method

  1. Lightly flour the inner surface of the sterlised cloth (cloot) or tea towel.
  2. Sift flour into a large baking bowl and rub in the suet until it looks like fine breadcrumbs
  3. Add all the dried ingredients and mix well then make a well and add milk to make a soft dough
  4. Put the mixture in the centre of your cloot, gather the ends together and tie the top with string, leave about half an inch of room to allow the pudding to expand.
  5. In a large pot/saucepan place an upturned saucer and place the clootie dumpling on this.
  6. Fill the pot with boiling water covering around two thirds of the dumpling.
  7. Cook on a medium heat for 3 hours.
  8. Allow to cool before turning out and serving.

As a Clootie is a little on the rich side it may not suit all pallets served alone so here is a nice Whisky sauce (jus) to serve with it:

  • 1 cup whisky (best opt for a blended Scotch rather than cask strength, or commit a sin by using bourbon)
  • 3/4 cup rice milk
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup

Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan simmer the whisky until it reduces by around a third.
  2. Add milk and syrup, simmer for 3 – 5 mins stirring throughout, it should thicken up a bit.
  3. Drizzle over dumpling before serving.

Generally oatcakes and cheese are served after pudding / dessert. I’d omit the cheese and have oatcakes with some vegan spreads, pickles and dip.

An alternative starter, equally as common as Cock-a-Leekie at a Burns supper is Cullen Skink, which is a creamy haddock-based soup and an alternative dessert is a Tipsy Laird, which is, essentially, a sherry trifle. I will get round to veganising these sometime soon.

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