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Simple Vegetable Soup

I first encountered this soup in Ireland, where the recipe varies from home to home based upon their likes and what they may have on hand.  

Though wonderful as written, don’t be afraid to substitute or add.  Roasted root vegetables, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, even leftover green bean casserole.  I wouldn’t hesitate to include any of them because once pureed, this is one of those dishes where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Vegetable Soup

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium parsnip, chopped
  • 1 small rutabaga, chopped
  •  2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 C frozen peas
  • a couple sprigs of parsley
  • sprig of thyme
  • 2 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 – 3/4 C half and half, to taste and totally optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter In a large pot over medium heat and add the onion and the leek.  Sauté for a few minutes, until translucent and wilted.  Add carrots, celery, parsnip and rutabaga.  Season with salt and pepper and continue to sauté 10 minutes, taking care not to color any of the vegetables.  Add potatoes, parsley, thyme and stock and cover.  Let simmer until the vegetables are nearly soft and tender.  The amount of time this will take depends on the size of the chop, anywhere from a half hour to an hour.  Remove the woody branch of thyme from the pot and add peas and continue to simmer another 10 minutes. 

vegetable soup copy

How you choose to tackle this next bit will depend on your preference.  In my house, we like to leave some of the soft vegetable chunks for a more hearty, rustic bowl of soup.  In this case, a minute or two with simple potato masher or a few blitzes with an immersion blender does the trick. If you’re looking for something velvety and refined, be a little more aggressive with the immersion blender, or puree in batches with a food processor until smooth. 

If using, add the half and half.  Stir through and season to taste.   

Tenille Enger is an amateur cook and gardener with a passion for moments when the two intersect. She is an active contributor to Taste the Local Difference® in both digital works and in print. You can contact her at

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  in Recipes, Tenille Enger