Irish Vegetable Soup!

When I was in Ireland, pretty much every meal looked like this:

Vegetable soup, brown bread, and tea. Lots and lots of tea. I was sick with a nasty respiratory infection and also grieving the loss of my mom (she had passed away only 3 weeks before), so I wasn’t much in the mood for real food. I ordered the vegetable soup on a whim the first night because the thought of anything else made me want to vomit, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it was pureed instead of chunky. I’m not a huge fan of veggies in general, so this was a fantastic discovery. I proceeded to order it at every meal, and every single time it came out pureed.

When I got home, I felt nostalgic for the Emerald Isle so I began scouring the internet for an authentic recipe and I came across this one. The picture looks a little different, but I figured it was worth a shot. It tasted just like I remembered! I haven’t made it in a couple of years, but I decided to give it another whirl yesterday in honor of St. Patty’s Day. I had big plans to attempt making a loaf of brown bread, too, but that idea went out the window very quickly. Maybe next year.

I left out the garlic from the recipe this time because I have IBS and I’ve recently discovered I can no longer digest garlic, and honestly, the soup tasted exactly the same without it. Here is the original recipe, thanks to askaboutireland.ie:

Ingredients

1oz/25g butter (2 tbsp)
1 medium sized onion (I used frozen chopped onions because I am lazy. I grabbed two handfuls and threw them in.)
2 sticks of celery
1 medium leek
3 cloves of garlic (I didn’t use any this time and didn’t notice a difference. Last time I know I used garlic powder and I just seasoned it to taste.)
2 large potatoes
2 medium carrots (I used a handful of baby carrots again because I am lazy and they are already peeled and chopped small enough.)
Seasoning
2 pints/1200ml chicken/vegetable stock (4 cups)

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To garnish:
1 tablespoon pouring cream (I didn’t add either of these)
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley

Method

Begin by chopping all of the vegetables and garlic.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and then add in the vegetables.
Sauté gently for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften.

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Next add in approximately two thirds of the stock and bring the mixture to a slow boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes or until all of the vegetables have softened down completely.  (I threw in all the stock right away and it was fine.)

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Purée the soup until it is nice and smooth. Return to the heat and bring back to a very gentle boil.

This is where it fell apart for me. I didn’t realize that my blender wasn’t working properly anymore, so I ladled a bunch of the soup in and pressed the button only to hear the most awful grinding noise. I ended up with an entire blender full of steaming hot semi-mush. I frantically searched the kitchen and found my old Magic Bullet and then had to puree the entire batch of soup a couple of ladles at a time. It was not good times.

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If you would like a thinner soup, now would be the best time to add some additional stock to thin it down. Correct the seasoning at this stage also, adding in some salt and pepper as required.

Transfer it to your serving bowls or cups and garnish the soup with a little pouring cream and chopped parsley.

Serve immediately or alternatively allow the soup to cool down and then transfer it into suitable containers and freeze until required.

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It turned out wonderfully. I picked up some pretzel rolls and Irish butter from the store which go nicely with this meal. I have enough to last me at least four days, so I’ll be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day all week long. Slainte!

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4 thoughts on “Irish Vegetable Soup!

  1. I’m not big on veggies myself, but I know I need to eat more. Maybe I should try this one too! I’m part Irish, though I don’t look it. When I was a kid, we hosted an Irish girl for the summer. She came back many times over the years and 16 years later, we are all still close. My father and brother have both been there to visit but I haven’t gotten to go yet. I need to save up some money and get there one of these years!

    • If you like mashed potatoes, this is worth a try. Mine comes out like watery mashed potatoes, and I like that I can’t really taste all the veggies individually like in regular vegetable soup.

      I loved Ireland. I would love to go back and see everything the right way — not for work, not on a go-go-go schedule, and definitely not in the fog of grief and sickness I was in when I was there.

  2. I love discovering recipes for meals you discovered abroad — or on trips! I’m always scared they’ll lose something in translation (or just with my less-than-stellar culinary skills), but what a joy when it turns out. This soup sounds great! I remember my meals in Ireland being much the same, especially with the tea and brown bread.

    • When I got back from Italy, I went nuts making caprese salads and trying to cook artichokes. After Ireland, I order Bewley’s tea online and pay about $8.00 per box just because I love it and it reminds me of my trip.

      Try the soup! It’s tasty and it’s got to be somewhat healthy, even with the butter, because of all the veggies.

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