Exploring Irish Cooking: Irish Pea Soup

Irish pea soup. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2015.

For lunch on Sunday, I made a pea soup from the Irish cookbook I’ve been exploring.  It was really easy, but I had to substitute vegetable broth for bacon rind or ham bone.  I also used cream instead of milk because I had some in the fridge and I didn’t want it to go to waste.  My husband and I both enjoyed the dish, but Bee wasn’t interested.  Maybe it’s because she’s not used to the taste of parsnip or turnip?

Weretoad and I decided to try out a couple new kitchen gadgets to prepare the soup.  First was this chopper tool my aunt gave me for Solstice.  In the end, I felt that using a knife was easier.  We also tried the new food processor.  While we’ve enjoyed it for other things, we decided it’s not the most useful in chopping up veggies.  (Or perhaps we just need to go about it differently?  The gadget is still new to us…)  Again, it’s easier for me to just cut them with a knife.  Part of what the authors of Traditional Irish Cooking explore in the introduction is the transition from fast, industrialized cooking back to what is now called “slow food.”  Even when modern appliances seem like they’ll make life more efficient, they really aren’t as simple or effective as a good kitchen knife.  And honestly, one knife is easier to clean than all the accessories needed for the food processor!  It definitely has its place for certain dishes (grating cheese has never been easier, for example), but I think I’ll continue to chop my veggies by hand.

That said, I modernized the recipe in another way, and I have no shame in it at all!  The recipe called for pressing through a wire strainer.  Oh no.  I guess it’s not so much about traditional vs. modern or even slow vs. fast; for me, it’s all about efficiency.  That was a job for my immersion blender!  Love that thing.  The result was a somewhat creamy soup, but with a little texture from the carrots, parsnip, and turnips.  I loved the light green color from the peas and cream.  It’s a great winter soup, and, for me, a great blend of old fashion tools (knives) and modern ones (immersion blender).

Now to decide if I want to try another soup or a dish from the egg section I’ve started to read…

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