Like many of Ireland’s dishes, this hearty root vegetable soup was created once the potato was introduced to the country in the 17th century. Ireland was one of the first European countries to adopt the potato as a staple food. Potatoes were filling, inexpensive, and abundant once they were domesticated. At the beginning of the 18th century, Irish cuisine began to shift from primarily dairy, seafood, game, and oats, to a greater range of vegetables, grains, and meat. Most importantly, it was during this time that the potato became popular and easily accessible in Ireland. Due to easy accessibility and inexpensive prices, the Irish adopted the potato wholeheartedly. The population of the country grew immensely during this time, especially with the poor. From that point forward, almost every Irish meal was served with potatoes in some fashion. It was also during this time that soups and stews thickened with potatoes were created: thus, the creation of Irish vegetable soup.
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 celery stocks, chopped
2 leeks, sliced
1 parsnip, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Add the butter to a large pot and melt until foamy over medium heat. Add the onion and cook over low-medium heat for approximately five minutes, stirring frequently. Do not let the onions brown.
Add the carrots, potatoes, celery, and leeks and cook over medium heat for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Last, add the parsnip and allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Allow the soup to simmer for at least 20 minutes, or until all vegetables are fork tender. Let cool.
Use an emersion blender or a regular blender to puree the soup until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot and stir in the whole milk. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Serve with Irish soda bread (and butter!!).