It’s the Glasgow Fair! As a kid, growing up in the East Coast, I remember only too well the hoards of holiday makers from the West who descended on our small fishing town of Port Seton during the Glasgow Fair.

Come rain or shine, the beaches were packed from morning till night and our cafes and chip shops did a roaring trade. We started at 7 in the morning and didn’t lock up until 12 at night once the pubs had emptied and the revellers had staggered home with a poke of chips…’salt and sauce!’ Those were the days!

When the weather broke and the summer storms blew in, my mother, Gertrude Di Ciacca, made huge pots of soup to serve with a roll and butter to keep them warm. All home made, tasty and nutritious.

This was my favourite, very delicious and much classier than opening a tin!



500 ml Chicken Stock made with 1 breast or 4 thighs/ legs free range chicken, 2 sticks celery, stalks of parsley

500 ml full fat milk

1 fresh bay leaf

1 shallot

30g unsalted butter

3 tablespoons plain flour

Sea salt and ground white pepper

2 tablespoons thick cream

Flat leaf parsley finely chopped


First, make the chicken stock by simmering the chicken in 500ml water with the celery and parsley stalks for an hour or so.

Season with sea salt and set aside.

To make the soup:

Place the milk, bay leaf and shallot in a saucepan, bring to a slow simmer.

Take off the heat and set aside to let the flavours infuse.

Make a classic bechamel sauce.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour.

Stir on a low heat with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball.

Cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes to cook the flour, turning it with the spoon and taking care not to let it burn.

Now strain half of the infused milk into the saucepan and stir the mixture until you get a smooth white sauce. Don’t worry if there are lumps at the start. These will disappear as the mix heats up.

Once the mix is smooth add the rest of the strained milk.

Bring back to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.


Now, strain the cooled chicken stock into the mixture and heat everything again to simmering, stirring to make the soup.

You can do all this in a blender.

Check seasoning and serve with pieces of the cooked chicken, a swirl of cream and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.