Thursday, February 5, 2009

Brighid's Feast - the Soup Course

Our Imbolg holiday meal this year was my favorite ever! And, thanks to leftovers, I managed to get 4 meals from it! All of the recipes I used this year are ancient, harking back more than a thousand years, to a time when all Britain was Pagan, and Brighid was much adored for the Goddess that she is. I wish I could remember where I originally found these recipes. If anyone knows the sources, please let me know & I'll credit them.

The Menu

Oatmeal and Onion Soup
Salmon Steaks in Oatmeal

Today I'll post the recipe for the soup. Tomorrow, hopefully, will be the recipe for the Clapshot.

Oatmeal and Onion Soup

1 large knob of butter
1 large onion, chopped
Dulse flakes
1/2 Cup pinhead, or Scottish, oats
2 Cups broth
1 Cup fresh milk

Saute the chopped onion in butter. Add oatmeal, dulse flakes and pepper & cook for a few minutes. Slowly add broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for half an hour, stirring every few minutes. Add milk and heat through, but do not allow the soup to boil again. Garnish with parsley & serve!

A "knob" is about a teaspoon of butter, so a "large knob" is about a teaspoon and a half.

Dulse is a red seaweed, that washes up on the coasts of the Isles, and has a flavor similar to salt, though it is much more nutritious. We keep a bowl of dulse flakes on our table, and rarely use salt at our house.

Pinhead, or Scottish oats are chopped whole groats, and are very nutritious. Many people who are gluten-intolerant (including me) find that they are able to eat Scottish oats without any problems. My theory on this is that many of us gluten-sensitives are of northern European ancestry, and we evolved eating oats, so this is what our digestive systems are prepared to process. Wheat, on the other hand, doesn't come from that part of the world.

For the broth, I used a vegetable stock that I had on hand. I think you could use chicken stock, or even water. If you use water, you'll probably want to increase the amount of dulse flakes you use for flavoring.

Ewe's milk is especially sacred to Brighid, but any fresh milk will work in this recipe. I used goat's milk. Imbolg means "in the belly", and is the beginning of the lambing time. It represents, then, a return to the availability of fresh milk for our ancestors.

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