Exploring Irish Cooking: Barley Soup


I stumbled upon this recipe while looking at the grain section of the cookbook; it wasn’t among the other soup recipes.  I decided to experiment with this one because I already had the barley and potatoes in my cupboards.  The only ingredients I needed to stock up on were onions and turnips.

I didn’t follow this recipe exactly.  I added more barely because I wanted a thicker soup.  We also didn’t put everything in a pot of water right away.  We used butter as fat and softened the onions in that before adding water and other ingredients.  With the addition of milk towards the end, the result is a delicious but rich, creamy tasting soup.  My husband enjoyed the chunkiness, although I think I preferred the blended potato soup from last week.  All the same, we decided that this was something to make again.

As I ate, I reflected on how one of my Irish ancestors moved to Upstate NY after her family’s potato farm failed.  This is the second potato dish I’ve made, and the humble, New World veggie makes many appearances in these dishes. It’s easy to imagine how devastating the blight was…


Published by M. A. Phillips

An author and Druid living in Northern NY.

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