Two old and traditional recipes rooted deep in Irish History. My simple offerings on St Patrick’s Day.
Both of these recipes have few ingredients. I’m always in love with the simple recipes. The ones based on local produce, local climate and the time of year. The ones without fuss or fiddle. Leeks overwinter even in frost and snow. And now, at the very end of winter in the northern hemisphere, there they are when there’s not much else left.
My father was born on St. Patrick’s Day. I didn’t really expect a food blog to get personal, but today it has. Despite the fact that it was his last name, he was always known as Pat.
He had a little bit of Irish in him too, so I guess that means that I do too! I miss him.
Food for peace on St. Patrick’s Day…. hope you like … 😉
Brotchán Roy + Traditional Irish Soda Bread
Traditional Irish Soda Bread
This bread only has 4 ingredients.
Note: this simple recipe is traditional to Ireland….
- 500gms. flour (I used stoneground wholemeal)
Note: you can use plain white flour, or a 50-50 mix wholemeal and white.
- 1.5 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 300 ml. buttermilk
Note: I made buttermilk using oat milk, lemon juice and a spoonful of yogurt.
Note: the only other ingredient that may very occasionally be added to this bread, is caraway seeds…..
- Preheat oven to Gas Mk. 7 / 220C
- To prepare the buttermilk, place 300ml. oat milk in a jug and add juice 1/2 a small lemon and 1 good tbs. non-dairy yogurt. Stir well to combine, and leave to stand for 10 mins.
- Place flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl.
- When the vegan buttermilk is ready, pour into the bowl and mix thoroughly with the dry ingredients until you have a dough. This should take just a minute or two, don’t overwork the dough.
- Quickly knead the dough into a round shape about 18cm. in diameter, and place on a lightly-greased baking tray.
- Cut two deep slits through the loaf, about 2cm. deep) – to form a cross.
Note: cutting the cross achieves two things, it allows heat to easily enter the middle of the loaf, and, superstitiously, allows ‘the devil to leave the loaf’……..
- Place the loaf in the preheated oven for 40 mins…or so….. until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
- Wrap in a clean tea towel and serve warm.
- Break into wedges when serving…
Meanwhile, prepare the soup….
- approx. 500gms. leeks
- 6 scallions/ spring onions
- 4 tbs. pinhead oatmeal
- 500ml. oat or soy milk
- 700ml. vegetable stock
- 2tbs. vegan spread suitable for sautéing
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1.5 – 2 tsps. salt
- handful chopped parsley
- 50ml. oat/soy cream (optional)
- Wash and trim leeks: remove outer sheaths and the green flared bits at the top.
- Chop leek lengthwise down the middle, and then into 1cm. chunks.
- Wash, trim and finely slice scallions.
- In a wide pan, on a medium-high heat, add 2 tbs. vegan spread.
- Add chopped leeks, and sauté for 8 mins. So they soften but don’t change colour….
- In a large casserole, place vegetable stock and oat or soy milk.
- Add the pinhead oatmeal and stir in well.
- Bring gently to the boil, stirring from time to time.
- *Don’t let the liquid boil rapidly at any point during cooking.
- When the oatmeal is simmering very gently, add sautéed leeks, sliced spring onions, salt and nutmeg. Stir well to combine thoroughly.
- Reduce heat to minimum, (use a diffuser if necessary) cover with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer very gently for 20-30 mins. No more than 30 mins. The soup will continue to thicken throughout cooking, so stir occasionally.
- Toward end of cooking, taste, and add a little more salt if desired.
- At the end of cooking add vegan cream if using. Warm through.
- Remove from heat 5 mins. before serving and allow to stand…and settle.
Serve hot with Irish Soda Bread…..
Happy St. Patrick’s Day
For my dad