Irish Oat Meal
By Angela Denstad Stigeler
If you’re still longing for the Emerald Isle or feeling a bit green following the weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities, you need look no further than this oat and leek soup to put you on an authentically Irish even keel. A traditional Lenten broth known as Brotchan Roy, this is one of many Irish broth recipes thickened by steel-cut oats. Not only do oats add great flavor and heartiness, they also lend a creamy texture that, when combined with milk and mild-flavored leeks, makes for a soothing and healthy soup. Simple to make for an easy-going meal, it’s sure to revive and refresh. So take a bowl of Brotchan Roy for whatever ails you. You’ll be feeling your oats in no time.
(Irish Oat and Leek Soup)
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups (3 large) leeks
1/2 cup Irish steel cut oats
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups milk
fresh cracked pepper to taste
2 tbsp fresh chives for garnish
Thinly slice the white and tender greens of the leeks, discarding the root ends and the tough outer leaves. Soak them in cold water, swishing them around to dislodge any dirt and letting any sand settle to the bottom of the bowl. Transfer the leeks by handfuls into a colander and drain well.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the oatmeal and sauté, stirring frequently, until slightly golden, 3-5 minutes. Add the broth and milk, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the fresh cracked black pepper and salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the oats are tender, 45-50 minutes. Garnish individual bowls with chives and serve warm.