Saturday, March 17, 2012

Weekend Cooking...Caite's St. Patrick's Day

I am working this St.Patrick's Day, so no lovely Irish dinner for me it seems. So, I decided to make a little something to remind me of Ireland. And nothing, absolutely nothing reminds me of Irish food more that some brown bread and vegetable soup!

Stop in any pub, any restaurant, and there is always brown bread and vegetable soup. As I have written about before, it is always a pureed vegetable soup, but the color will change, depending on what veggie played the major role. Maybe white, maybe green, maybe orange, like the one I am going to make. And nothing is better on a cool, damp day (of which Ireland has a few) than a bowl of this easy, versatile, filling and pretty healthy soup.

a yogurt shamrock and my Turkish spice grinder

And then we have the brown bread, with some lovely, high butter fat Irish butter, fresh and chewy and delicious. I have given this recipe before, most likely last St.Patrick's Day, but if I do say so myself it is an excellent recipe. Not happy with any recipe that I found, I made this one up and worked on it until I got it right. Ideally, you need Irish-style whole wheat flour. I get mine from King Arthur's these days, "a lovely “soft” flour, coarsely ground, a really nice match for the flour used in Ireland for their whole-grain breads". There is a big difference from our whole wheat, which is a hard wheat. I add the yogurt because our buttermilk is sorely lacking and I think it adds a nice tang.

All you need is a half pint of Guinness or Murphys and we will call it lunch or dinner.
Now I am going to have some smoked salmon as well, with some capers and a splash of lemon because the thing that goes best with that bread, besides my soup and some Irish butter is some lovely smoked salmon.
Oh, it will be lovely...lovely and grand.
Carrot and Parsnip Soup
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 large onions, halved and sliced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced  
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 2-3 large parsnips, about 1 lb., peeled and cut into pieces 
  • 1 lb. carrots, cut into pieces
  • 3 large red potatoes, peeled and cut into  pieces 
  • 48 oz. container chicken broth
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 can skim evaporated milk..or 8 oz. 1/2 and 1/2 ...or cream
In a large pot, heat oil and then add onions and garlic, cooking for a few minutes. Add all the spices and let cook for a minute or two, then add remaining vegetables, stirring well.
Pour in the chicken stock, bring up to a boil, then reduce and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Puree in a blender or using a stick blender.
Test for salt and pepper.
Add cream, stir well and bring back to heat.
Lovely topped with a little sour cream, or a spoon of yogurt, and a bit of sliced scallions.
Brown Bread
  • 3 cups Irish Style whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup Irish steel cut oatmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking power
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbs. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, plus enough to moisten
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Spray a round casserole baking dish with oil and dust with a little whole wheat flour.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix egg, yogurt and 1 cup buttermilk. Add the wet to the dry and mix with your favorite wooden spoon. Add additional buttermilk until all the dry ingredients are mixed in and it forms a quite wet, sticky dough.
NOTE: do not fool with it. No attempt at kneading. Just mix, put it is the baking dish and in the oven. The less you handle it, the better, like scones.
Put into prepared casserole, loosely covering with foil to keep it from burning.
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes then reduce to 400 for remaining 45 minutes, uncovering for the last 15 minutes.
When you remove it from the baking dish, wrap in a tea towel and let stand, on it's side, until cool.


This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. The carrot and parsnip soup looks lovely. Parsnip is having a revival here in Germany right now, so this comes at the right time.

  2. Parsnips are one of my favorite veggies :)

    I see that you use Chobani yogurt...that is a brand we devour in this house.

    I hope to try your brown bread recipe soon...I am also working today, but maybe I will get to it tomorrow :)

  3. Don't eat yet! I'm on my way over. Thanks for the heads-up on the KAF Irish flour; it's one I haven't tried yet.

  4. I've never seen that flour. Do you have to order it online? You know that no place in Podunk would ever carry this. Stupid place!

  5. You don't all know about one of my favorite websites? Yes, I buy my Irish flour there, but I also love it as a place for recipes and just fun 'window' shopping.

    My local supermarket actually sells a few of their basic flour, but not the Irish. I will tell you I wait for a free shipping offer, which they seem to have a few times a year, order a bunch and freeze it.
    King Arthur Flour

  6. Hm, I don't see any yeast in that brown bread recipe, so maybe I could create it.

  7. no yeast! (I have a yeast fear) Is is a quick bread and the leavening is from the interaction of the baking soda and power with the buttermilk and yougurt. Fool proof!

  8. You continue to make my mouth water with your recipes and this soup recipe is no different. I love soup and will have to try this one with so many of my favorite spices. Thanks for posting it.

  9. This look delicious - I love the yogurt shamrock!!

  10. That looks great to me! I happen to love carrot soup, and I don't know what made me make it the first time, because it doesn't sound all that compelling, but it's really delicious!

  11. Looks like a delicious meal. Love the shamrock...very creative!

  12. I'm Irish and always make my family a special St. Patrick's Day dinner. I love your soup and the yogurt shamrock, I may have to add this to my holiday dinner.

  13. Now you've got me thinking about lunch. I've got all the ingredients to make the brown bread except for the yogurt. Off to my milk store I go...

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!
    Can't wait to have a stout beer later.

  14. What a beautiful post! I love the shamrock in the soup in the last photo!! I did not know that that type of soup was popular in Ireland!

  15. same basic soup, different vegetables..everywhere!

  16. Such a hearty meal and I can tell you are really looking forward to it! Happy St. Patricks Day to you and thanks for the recipe.

  17. Looks extra yummy! Parsnips and turnips are completely under-rated root vegetables so it's always nice to see a recipe that uses one or both.

  18. Soup looks so good, love the shamrock :)
    I agree with you on the buttermilk these days. Delicious bread, nice meal!

  19. Soup is too cute & that I could probably have, but although I would love love to have some of that bread it's not in my diet right now, so have a slice for me & a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

  20. What a fun garnish on your soup! And that spice grinder is gorgeous ... I hope you keep it out for all to see, not hidden away in a cabinet :)

  21. Carrot and Parsnip sounds delicious!

    We didn't do anything specific for St Patricks Day here. I don't think it is celebrated as much as it is in the US, or Ireland obviously!

  22. Looks like a great recipe! My husband would love it!

  23. Caite, this sounds like the perfect Irish meal for St. Patrick's Day weekend or any day! I make a lot of pureed vegetable soups too. I find them so comforting and full of wonderful flavor. Your brown bread looks great, too! Yum!!

  24. Hi Caite,

    Soup and bread is a meal that I could eat at any time of the day or night.

    Any flavour soup is okay with me, alhough if I was pushed to make a single selection, I suppose it would have to be 'Leek and Potatoe' (2 more great Irish staple foods).

    When we have eaten in an Irish restaurant, we have generally been served 'Soda Bread' with a very light coloured butter. This has to be one of my all time favourite accompaniments.

    Great post, fortunately we have only just finished dinner, so I am not hungry right now.

    Have a good week, Yvonne

  25. Looks yummy. As it is getting to be autumn here, soup is close to being on the menu again.


please speak up, I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!