[Jump to Recipe] I have already posted about 18 soup recipes, but there's more where that came from. Once upon a time, I had the fantasy of opening a "soup store/resto". When the "soup Nazi" bit appeared on Seinfeld that took a bit of the wind out of my sails. A few "all soup" stalls opened in busy Toronto food courts, but that trend seems to have faded away, as did my fantasy. Nonetheless I still like soups, and I have been making this for almost two decades, from "Soup: Superb ways with a classic dish" (Debra Mayhew Ed. 2001). The recipe appears countless times on the internet without credit to this book, so I don't really know who "owns" the recipe. From what I can tell it originates in Northern Ireland.

Soups can be an easy way to meet advised daily vegetable intake. - and they have another "secret" property. My "Slow Down" blog-post referred to the importance of reconnecting with the sensations of hunger and satiety. While we may have the bad habit of mindlessly reaching for food in certain contexts or hours of the day, being in touch with "feeling full" can help you avoid temptations. Turns out there is science that supports the view that nothing beats soup for making you feel full! It does this by inhibiting ghrelin in the digestive system.  "The scientists' scans confirm that the stomach stays fuller for longer, staving off those hunger pangs... The stomach gradually empties, more slowly for the soup than the solid meal plus water." [Read more about ghrelin.]

I am recommending this soup because it tastes fabulous, not because it should figure into a weight loss program, but while we're on that subject, two references to soup and dieting come to mind. 

  • I recall a Weight Watchers soup. (I have done WW three times which is why I will never do it again - Oprah cheer-leading notwithstanding. I always gained back all the weight, plus more. I know it works for some people but I ended up having more lasting results with another approach.) Anyhow, from a quick Internet search I see that the "all you can eat / zero points cabbage/vegetable soup" still exists. 
  • Do you recall the (cleansing) "Magical Leek Soup" from "Why French Women Don't Get Fat?" Supposedly a generations old practice, you were supposed to begin the diet consuming only this soup, every 2-3 hours, for two days. I admit I tried that - did not like the soup and, for me, an unsustainable approach.

This Irish Yellow Broth Soup is not likely to contribute to weight gain - but forget about all that, and make it because it is so terrific for such little effort. I am astonished it has taken so long to appear on my site. It is a great Spring soup - not as heavy as some Winter soups, and you might find that you have all the ingredients on hand.

Here's the Recipe!

The recipe yields only about 4 servings, so double it if you need more, or want leftovers.

Getting Ready:

  • chop onion, celery and carrots (could be done ahead of time / even day before)
  • chop the spinach

1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped

2 TB unsalted butter

If I'm not in the chopping mood, I pulse each ingredient separately in a food processor. In case it's not obvious, no need to wash the food processor bowl in between.

In an appropriate size saucepan or Dutch oven (depending on whether you are doing 4 or 8 servings), melt the butter and cook the chopped onion for about 2 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in the chopped carrots and celery and cook gently for a further minute or so, stirring constantly.

1/4 cup flour

4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)

(Regular flour works, or try Easy Blend Flour to be sure to avoid lumps. Have the chicken stock ready.)

Stir the flour into the veggie mixture and cook gently for a further 1 minute stirring constantly, since the bottom of the pan may get sticky. Pour in the stock, gradually at first to avoid flour lumps. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until vegetables are tender.

1/4 cup steel-cut Irish oatmeal

4 oz / 4 cups spinach, chopped

2 TB cream (heavy or half and half)

Stir in the oatmeal - do not walk away! Stir for a short while otherwise the oatmeal will fall to the bottom of the pan and clump, maybe even burn. In total, cook for 15 minutes after adding the oatmeal. Keep stirring every few minutes!

Add the spinach after it seems the oatmeal will no longer clump (5 minutes or so after above.)

Stir in the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Optional: garnish with fresh parsley.

The oatmeal will continue to absorb liquid so extra liquid (water or broth) may need to be added depending on when this is being served.

Notes and Tips...

  • Irish Steel Cut Oats - do not substitute any other type of "oatmeal"; Irish steel-cut oats are distinctive and I would buy the best - McCann's.
  • Spinach - baby spinach is the easiest to use, but if you are using a large leaf spinach, remove the spines.
  • Carrots - there are carrots, and then there are carrots; aim to use fresh, tasty carrots
  • For KB Recipe Attribution Practices please click here.

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Did you know I have often whimsically wondered if I was Irish in another life? Read more...


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