Leek and Oatmeal Soup

Brotchan (broth) Roi (Chief/King) Soup.

Brotchan (broths) formed a very large part of the Irish diet. In the 6th century, the poor ate what they grew; the staples they had on hand were milk, oats, and leeks.  They not only grew oats, they ground the oats into meal.  The oat meal was boiled with water and vegetables were added forming a very thick brotchan/soup/  Even though we use leeks, there is reason to believe onions and chives were also used.  One thing is certain; this soup reflects the three staples of the ancient Irish diet, leeks, oatmeal, and milk.

Brotchan Roi  Recipe (Serves 6 to 8 persons… depending on ounces served)

  • 1 quart stock (32 oz) preferably homemade chicken stock (Swanson/Basic Chicken)
  • 1 cup of milk/half and half/heavy cream… sometimes added to the stock… amount to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups of medium diced leeks
  • Herbs- parsley, 2 stalks celery (finely diced), 3 bay leaf, thyme (to taste), salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of butter for steaming the leeks
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons of butter to toast the old fashioned (rolled oats) oatmeal
  • 1 cup old fashioned (rolled oats) oatmeal flakes


  • Melt 3 tables of butter in 3-4 quart soup pot.
  • Add old fashion, rolled oatmeal and sauté until slightly browned and giving off a nutty aroma.
  • Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a 12 in. sauté pan and add leeks, finely diced celery, thyme and parsley and toss, cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add ½ cup water to the leeks & celery, and cover pan for 10 to 15 minutes until leeks and celery are soft.
  • Add 1 quart chicken stock to the sautéed roasted rolled oats.
  • Add the leeks, celery mixture, 3 bay leaves and herbs to the chicken stock and rolled oats.
  • Simmer soup gently for 30 minutes and adjust the seasoning. The soup should have started to thicken due to the oatmeal. Note: the soup will continue to thicken the longer you gently simmer the soup. Taste will determine the final pleasurable product.