Friday, March 13, 2009

Patriot Soup

Saint Patrick's Day is nearly upon us. I love the holiday itself, but it's extra special because it's also my brother's birthday (yay!).

To get in a fun, celebratory mood, lets have a bit of trivia...

1. According to legend, St. Patrick used WHAT to explain the holy trinity to pre-Christian Irish?
2. Where was St. Patrick born?
3. In what city and year did the first civic and public celebration of Saint Patrick's Day take place in the USA?
4. What gift do you get if you kiss the Blarney Stone?
5. What does the 4th leaf of a shamrock symbolize?
6. Leprechauns are said to perform which service for fairies?
(answers at the bottom of today's post)

As we all know, any good celebration needs good food and drink. You're in charge of your own drink, but I have a good recipe to share with you...

Patriot Soup. I found this soup in a soup book I bought in Ireland this past summer. Seemed appropriate for the holiday. It's green deliciousness. I added a can of chickpeas to give it some protein and make it our main dish, turned out great. Both Tim and I really liked it, and it's going in my soup rotation. If you're still battling a lingering cold winter this March, give this warm soup a try.

Patriot Soup
from Best of Irish Soups

Sorry for the delay, here is the recipe:

2 Tablespoons chopped parsley and chives
4-6 ounces chopped onions
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 leek (green part only), washed and sliced
8 ounces frozen peas
2-3 leaves of green cabbage, sliced thinly
5 cups vegetable stock
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
8 ounces potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
1/4 stick of butter
cream and/or finely shredded carrot - for garnish (optional)

Over medium heat, saute onion and leek in the butter for about 2 minutes. Add the stock and all the ingredients, excluding the peas and cabbage, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Then add the chopped cabbage and peas. Bring back to a boil. Cover and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

With a hand blender, process the soup to desired consistency.

Serve in white bowls (yes, it actually says that in the recipe!) and top with a swirl of thickened cream, sprinkled with shredded carrot. Accompany with home-made brown bread or scones, or potato bread.

As an extra tip, the book says: The white part of the leek is delicious sliced, lightly cooked in olive oil or butter, and added to mashed potatoes.

Answers to trivia questions:

1. The shamrock
2. Wales
3. Boston, 1737
4. The gift of eloquence
5. Luck (A 4-leaf clover occurs once for every 10,000 3-leaf clovers)
6. Make their shoes (Leprechauns are themselves male fairies)

Guten appetit!

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