Saturday, September 4, 2010

Finola’s Vegetable Soup

This is my wonderful mother-in-law's wonderful vegetable soup, without any migraine trigger foods.  It transports me back to her kitchen across the ocean.  The parsnip gives it a sweet and tart flavor.  Parsnips look like white carrots.  They seem common in Ireland, but I had never eaten them in the U.S. until after visiting Ireland.  Since the parsnip is the dominant flavor in this recipe, if you find you would prefer a milder taste, you can use 1/2 a parsnip and 1 1/2 or 2 carrots instead. 

Makes 4 bowls of soup

3 shallots, chopped
3 mushrooms the size of button mushrooms, washed (use water and paper towel), sliced (hard stems discarded)
butter and/or olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 carrot, chop all remaining veg same size
1 parsip (no larger than the carrot), chopped
a little cabbage, shredded
optional: 1 small zucchini, cubed
1 large potato with peal, cubed
1 quart chicken stock
1 t rosemary
1 T fresh parsley
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1 T cream per serving

1. Wash all vegetables and chop the shallots and mushrooms. Then proceed to the next step.
2. Caramelize mushrooms and shallots (15 min at low sizzle in olive oil and/or butter; can be translucent or browned on edges when done) on opposite sides of large fry pan.
3. Meanwhile, if chicken stock is frozen, put it in a pot where soup will be cooked over low heat to thaw. Chop the garlic, carrot, parsnip, zucchini, cabbage (shredded), potato, and parsley. Chop all vegetables the same size.
4. Transfer onions and mushrooms into the soup pot. Turn up the heat slightly and sauté the garlic and remaining vegetables for about 2 min.
5. Pour contents of fry pan into the soup, turn up heat to simmer, and add rosemary and parsley and a little salt and pepper. When vegetables are fork tender, remove from heat. Check after the first 5 min., if vegetables were chopped small, it may be done already.
6. If you have time, let soup cool a little before pureeing, so steam isn't putting pressure on the lid of the blender.  Pour soup into blender and puree until the consistency of a thick smoothie. Add salt and pepper to taste. To taste test: use 2 spoons: keep one clean and pour into a 2nd you can keep reusing to taste.
7. Add 1 T cream to each bowl when serving. Mix. The cream not only tastes good, it’s supposed to make more of the nutrients in the vegetables bioavailable since some nutrients require others to be absorbed.


  1. Soups always help you relax and also healthy way to end your day or even a mid day meal.A dash of coriander or lemon grass takes the headaches off me.

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  2. Thanks for your comments, LA Surgeons. Like your seasoning suggestions. I drink an herbal tea with that has lemon grass in it, because it's enjoyable. But who knows, maybe it's helping, too.