Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In honor of the day, I’ve got an interesting recipe for you…something a little different than the typical Irish recipes you might have recently seen around the blogosphere.

I feel best when I stay away from sweets in the morning. Savory breakfasts are totally my thing, and I’ve extolled the virtues of savory oatmeal before. This oat and leek broth is a very traditional Irish recipe. I spied it in one of my favorite cookbooks (it also happens to be my only Irish cookbook), and wanted to try it right away because I love recipes with history, and because it’s another sweetener-free way to enjoy nutritious oats.

I was intrigued from my first glance at the recipe by how the oats are cooked in a milky liquid with leeks. I added some organic dandelion greens (amazingly healthy- I bought the ones I used in this recipe at my natural foods store, but soon I’ll be plucking them from my yard) and like the soup very much as is; it’s also great with cubes of leftover corned beef.

This dish is very simple, and delicious in it’s hot, soupy glory when it’s right off the stove.

I refrigerated my leftovers and found that they really thickened up on standing- they are very enjoyable this way, as well, though you can always add more milk or water and heat to thin out the broth.

Recipe for Irish Oat Broth with Leeks and Dandelion Greens

Ingredients:

*2 cups raw or organic milk
*1 cup water, vegetable, or chicken stock, preferably homemade
*2 teaspoons butter (I used Kerrygold Irish butter)
*4 tablespoons organic thick rolled oats (Irish oats, if you like; make sure to use gluten-free oats if on a gluten-free diet)
*1 cup trimmed, cleaned and coarsely chopped leeks (white parts only)
*1 cup finely chopped organic dandelion greens
*coarse sea salt- to taste
*cracked black pepper- to taste

Directions:

1. Combine milk, water, and butter in a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil so the butter melts. Add the oats and stir to combine.

2. Add the leeks and the dandelion greens and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring every now and then, then turn off the heat and allow to stand for 5-10 more minutes.

3. Taste the "broth" and season with sea salt. Ladle into serving bowls and top with fresh pepper to taste. Add a pat of butter or a splash of raw/organic cream before serving, if desired.

Adapted from A Taste of Old Ireland.