Roasted Root Vegetable Soup.

As I mentioned in my post on Irish Brown Bread, Irish cooking isn’t the most sophisticated of world cuisines. Their bread is one exception, and their soups are another. This five-step root vegetable puree is perfect for chilly weather and involves more waiting than actual preparation/tending — very low maintenance. It’s a yummy, healthy soup that will warm you from the inside out!

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INGREDIENTS

4 parsnips, peeled and sliced

4-6 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 onion, sliced

1 sweet potato, cubed

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp dried thyme

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 large leeks, thoroughly washed and sliced (just the white and light green parts)

1 bay leaf

5-8 cups vegetable broth

salt and pepper

Just the Recipe link: Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, combine parsnips, carrots, onion, sweet potato, garlic, ginger, cumin, thyme, and 2 tbsp olive oil. Toss to coat. Spread a single layer onto foil-lined pans and roast until starting to caramelize.

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Heat the last tbsp of oil on medium low in a Dutch oven or other large pot and add leeks and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft.

Add the roasted veggies and broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until tender.

Remove bay leaf, puree in batches, and enjoy. “Enjoy” is best done with lots of buttered Irish Brown Bread!

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Irish Brown Bread.

Historically, Irish cuisine doesn’t get much respect in the culinary world; traditional Irish dishes can be simple and even unsophisticated – I say so lovingly :) . But there are a few exceptions to this rule, and homemade brown bread is one of them. This recipe comes from lifelong brown bread baker Auntie Mary, aunt and neighbor to our family in Dublin. I’ve adapted the recipe from metric to standard, but other than that, it’s the same easy recipe Auntie Mary has been using forever–a real taste of the best of the emerald isle!

DRY INGREDIENTS
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp oat bran
2 tbsp wheat germ
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sesame seeds, plus a palmful more, divided

WET INGREDIENTS
1 egg
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Using a fork, stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients.

Pour the batter into a greased circular cake pan or deep rectangular bread pan. Make an X across the top of the batter and sprinkle with the remaining palmful of sesame seeds.

Bake about 50 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. Enjoy with ham and cheese, with soup, or buttered with tea.