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Orcadian Oatmeal Soup

One of Scotland's traditional ball games, which dates back to Viking times, is under threat, because it is too dangerous! Orkney Council is apparently now considering not underwriting the New Year's Day Kirkwall Ba' Game which places it's future in jeopardy. The Game which involves two teams, The Uppies and The Doonies, battling it out to get hold of a leather ball and running it through the streets of Kirkwall is very physical with hundreds playing on both sides. Until now the Game has been financially backed by Orkney Council which pays for any damage caused during the Game eg broken windows and doors, resulting from the robust play. Orcadians say that the Game would not go ahead without Council support as the players could not pay for the damage. Hopefully, common sense will prevail and a solution found to enable this traditional game to continue. It would be unfortunate to lose a traditional sport, enjoyed by the whole community, but whatever the outcome, along with Orcadians we can all continue to enjoy a plate of warming Orcadian oatmeal soup. Just the ticket after the Kirkwall ba' game.

Orcadian Oatmeal Soup
( 6 to 8 servings )
Ingredients : 2 oz ( 50 g ) butter ( Orkney is best ! ); 2 leeks, finely chopped, white and green separated; 4 medium carrots, grated; half a swede, grated; 2 oz ( 50 g ) fine oatmeal; 2 pt ( 1 l ) cold water or vegetable stock; approx 2 pt milk; salt and pepper; chopped parsley.
Melt the butter in a pot and add the vegetables, but only the white of the leek. Sweat without colouring for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the oatmeal and mix in. Cook and for another few minutes. Add the water or stock and bring slowly to a gentle simmer. Cook till the vegetables are just soft, 5-10 minutes, at the most. Add enough milk to make a fairly thick consistency, add the green leek, and heat through. Season and serve with parsley.


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