Saturday, February 19, 2011

A taste of Ireland

On a recent trip to the Emerald Isle, we were touring the Ring of Kerry and stopped in a sweet little coastal village for lunch. In a quaint cafe, the toasty warm fire was a welcome relief from the cold winter winds outside, and the Carrot Parsnip soup and coffee I enjoyed was also quite a comfort. I reached a point in the meal where I was actually quite full, but the soup was soooo tasty, I had trouble stopping. Which was unusual for me. For the rest of the trip meals, if I saw carrot parsnip or any other veggie type soup, I opted for that and was never disappointed.

On my return home, one of the first things I did was look for a similar recipe online and was surprised at how few carrot parsnip soup recipes there were. Maybe it's specific to the country. I know I had never heard of it before. Anyway, I found basically two versions, the main difference being that one is made with butter and one with half and half instead. I am sharing the former with you, since it was my favorite. I reworked it a little bit, and now it is very close to the soup I had in Ireland, but not exactly the same. So I plan on perfecting it over the next few months and if I find any improvements I will post them here. :)

Smooth, very "earthy" in the taste of the root vegetables, but the parsnips give it a nice sweetness. Every time I taste it, I am transported back to Cahersiveen and a toasty warm cafe.

Carrot Parsnip Soup
4 Tblsp butter  5 Tblsp butter
1/2 small-medium onion 1 cup chopped onion
~1/2 large baker potato
4 medium carrots
1 medium parsnip 1 large or 2 meduim parsnips
~ 28 oz. of chicken broth (i used reduced sodium)
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and chop potato, carrots, and parsnip. Chop onion.
Melt butter in saucepan, add onions and potatoes and stir until they are coated with butter.
Cover with lid and sweat ingredients over low heat for 5 minutes.
Add carrots, parsnip, and sweat for another 5 minutes.
Add the stock. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer until veggies are soft. Like falling apart soft.
Liquefy with a blender, hand blender or food processor.
Add salt and pepper to taste. May garnish with parsley.



  1. OK. I think I got it! I made a few amendments and this one tastes pretty darn close to the one I had on our trip. For the sake of anyone who might have the old version, I've made the changes visible.

    So, how is this one different? Well, I knew it needed to be more... "savory" to taste more like the one in Ireland. So I added quite a bit more onion, and it would follow to add a little bit more butter to accommodate. ;) I also skipped on the low-sodium broth and just used a regular one. The Free Range chicken broth from Trader Joe's was very tasty in this recipe.

    As another amendment - I wasn't too familiar with parsnips until recently (had never laid eyes on one until I had a baby and started making baby food! :0) SO I thought I was using a average sized parsnip, but realized this week that I think I had been using large ones. Teehee! I've made corrections accordingly.

    I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

  2. hmmmm, can't wait to try it.

  3. this sound so yummy! I will have to try!


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