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The most beautiful soups usually contain the fewest ingredients.

Leeks are in season here at the moment and although my wee crop didn’t grow last year, (I think the birds ate the seeds) I picked up a few at the market and embarked on doing something different other than Leek and Potato soup for a change.  This recipe calls for pinhead oatmeal which gives a lovely texture and flavour to the soup as well as acting as a thickening agent. 

Exactly how far back this soup dates is debatable, with some claiming it goes back to the days of the ancient Druids.  This is highly probable and there is a wealth of information online about these  native ingredients and Druidism. If you delve into history and have a look, there are many wonderful historical and mythological sites, and I find it impossible to credit just a few here. ‘Brotchán Roy’ is also known by the name of ‘ Brotchán Foltchep’, with brotchán meaning soup or broth and ‘Roy’ possibly being an english adaptation of the Gaelic, Irish word for King which is Rí. 

Nonetheless, this seasonal delicious soup is most definitely fit for royalty, even within your own humble abode and a great supper or lunch dish. You can serve it with Traditional Irish Soda  Bread  or Irish Brown Stout Bread which you can find under Baking here

 I spent four entertaining hours this morning reading online and print, but finally came back to this recipe by two matriarchal authorities on Irish food.

Brotchán Roy/Foltchep

Adapted from the book ‘A Taste of Ireland’ by Biddy White Lennon and Georgina Campbell

Serves 4-6

1/2 litre milk

1/2 litre vegetable/chicken stock

2 tbsp pinhead oatmeal

2 tbsp Irish butter

4 large leeks

1/2 tsp nutmeg / mace

1 bunch or 5 scallion/spring onion legs

small bunch parsley or chives

50ml single cream (optional)

To Cook

Heat both the stock and milk  togethor in a large pot or saucepan over a medium heat.

Sprinkle in the pinhead oatmeal and stir.  Simmer gently.

Trim the ends of the leeks and carefully with a knife, part slice the leeks from top to bottom lengthwise and rinse from root to tip in running water, carefully removing all grit and dirt between the leaves. 

Chop leeks into approximate inch slice chunks.

Rinse and trim the scallions and finely slice.

Fry the leeks gently in a seperate pan with the butter until slightly soft.  Do not colour.

Add the leeks,scallions, nutmeg or mace to the oatmeal and stock with milk. Stir.

Continue cooking for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally but don’t boil or the milk may curdle.

Season with salt and white pepper and stir in cream.

Garnish with snipped chives and/or chopped parsley.

Serve and enjoy!

For the March Traditional Irish theme  with the Irish Foodies Cookalongs