You may think of vegetable soup as a winter dish, but let me remind you that it’s cooler in Ireland than in the US in summer. Plus this is not one of those you have to stew for hours (oh, well, there is that turning on the oven thing). There are plenty of carrots in Ireland, year round, as well as other hearty root vegetables. Kind of reminds me of Massachusetts, where summer vegetables don’t really appear at the farmers’ markets until June or even July, at least in my part of the state.
|The Kalbos Cafe soup|
I’ll confess, I looked for recipes online, but they all looked like ordinary carrot soup—orange. None had this wonderful rich red color. Let me add that the dominant flavor is carrot, not beet (as a child I used to gag at the taste of beets, so I’m still wary of them).
At the café it was served simply, with a piece of brown bread and some butter. If you want to dress it up, you could add a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of dill or another herb. Also note that this is vegan—all vegetable, unless you want to use chicken stock. It’s simple, healthy and tasty—what more could you ask?
Roasted Carrot Soup
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium onion, thickly sliced
2 Tblsp good olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl, toss the carrots, beets and onion with the olive oil, then spread them in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.
4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place the cooked vegetables in a large saucepan. Add the stock, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until all the vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes).
|Bought this at a yard sale across the street|
for $3. I've used it a lot.
Serve in deep bowls. If you want to dress it up, add a dollop of crème fraiche and maybe a sprig of dill. Serve immediately. (This recipe makes about four servings.)
|My nod to the Fourth of July: it's|
red, white and blue!
Note: in winter you can add other vegetables as well—butternut squash, parsnips, sweet potato—to make it a heartier soup. You can also spice it up with a dash of pepper sauce or chile powder—it’s a very versatile recipe!
|My feeble effort to add an Irish design|
I'll stop rambling on about all things Irish soon, I promise. I am working on other books, really--the next Irish one (still nameless), another Orchard mystery, another Relatively Dead story, a short story or two...