Irish vegetable soup

    2 hours 30 min

    A traditional soup made by my parents and grandparents and a traditional winter soup in Northern Ireland and especially popular served as a starter to Christmas dinner. Pure, simple, wholesome comforting and natural food. As with all one pot dishes, it always tastes better the following day when all the ingredients have had time to marinate and got to know each other so if you want to impress, make it the day before serving. Enjoy.


    County Down, Northern Ireland, UK
    425 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 200g dried marrowfat peas
    • 1 packet dried soup mix with pearl barley, split red lentils, green and yellow split peas
    • 2L to 3L vegetable, chicken or beef stock
    • 1 to 2 leeks, cut in 2 lengthways, rinsed and chopped into 2cm pieces
    • 5 sticks celery, halved lengthways and chopped into 5mm pieces (include leaves)
    • 2 large carrots, diced
    • 1 to 2 potatoes, quartered
    • 1 to 2 bay leaves
    • 3 tablespoons sea salt or rock salt
    • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder (optional)
    • 1 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:2hr  ›  Ready in:2hr30min 

    1. Soak dried peas and soup mix packet in water overnight.
    2. Bring the stock to the boil in a large pot or stock pot. Add the peas and soup mix and simmer, slowly for 20 minutes.
    3. Add all the remaining ingredients except the parsley and cook simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until all the dried ingredients are soft and cooked. Easy! Now add the parsley.

    Serving suggestion

    Serve alone, with Irish wheaten bread or ciabatta.


    Be sure to use vegetable stock for a vegan / vegetarian version. If not using fresh stock, I find bouillon very good. The more peas you put in, the thicker the soup.


    I cannot emphasise enough that this soup is always better served the following day and well worth the wait. This recipe requires a lot of salt so its best to check the seasoning yourself and adjust if necessary.


    To make it into a chicken soup, boil a small chicken or boiling fowl in 2 to 3L water, with 8 peppercorns, 1 to 2 carrots, 2 sticks celery, bay leaf, until meat falls away from bone. Lift out chicken and separate meat from the rest and reserve when cool. Discard bones, fat, skin etc. Strain cooking water into bowl and put in fridge after 2 hours for at least 3 hours. Skim off fat that has formed on top and use the remaining liquid as stock for soup adding more water if required.


    For beef soup, ask your butcher for a beef bone for soup and cook in 2 to 3L water along with some celery, carrots, peppercorns, salt and pepper for around 3 hours, the longer the better. Strain stock into bowl and discard the rest. Follow instructions for chicken. Fry cubed beef until brown for 2 to 3 minutes and remove. Add browned beef at beginning with dried ingredients as for vegetable soup.

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    Reviews in English (6)


    3 tbsp salt is WAY too much, esp. as the stock is already salty. Suggest you try before you add any salt. Also pls specify the size of the soup mix packet. All I could find in Sainsbury's was 500g and that was a bit too much. Even on a simmer, the pulses sank to the bottom of the plan... so you have to keep stirring regularly or it will burn.  -  18 Jan 2015


    ive done this recipe 3 times now but lazily i dont pre soak the peas or beans and still works great. i love it! reminds me of my nanas soup when i was a kid!!  -  10 Sep 2014


    Good recipe, have made it a few times and tend to put a lot less salt and 1/2 the pepper in than indicated and about 250g/300g of soup and broth mix and 3 litres of stock. I like a teaspoon or two of thyme in it too. Easy to make and reminds me of the soups my gran used to make.  -  15 Jan 2017