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Oh, that “old chestnut” … A new twist on some old favourites

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St Patrick’s Day GREENS

It’s St Patrick’s Day on Sunday when everyone seems to be Irish (or would like to be) Green beer is so passé – though rumour has it that it will be served at The Junos – but cold green soup – that’s the ticket!. You can add ½-1 oz vodka per serving, if you’d like a little pre-dinner drink. Or skip the vodka and enjoy a refreshing opener.

El’s  St Patrick’s Day GREEN soup

Serve hot or cold


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bunches spring onions (10) washed and sliced
  • 4 cloves (large) garlic roughly chopped
  • 2 litres vegetable stock
  • 3 small bags (500g) of baby peas
  • 1 large bunch tarragon
  • 1 extra large bunch basil
  • 3 Boston Lettuce heads

Heat olive oil in large pan or dutch oven and sauté onions and garlic for 1 minute

Pour in vegetable stock, bring to boil and then reduce heat.

Add baby peas and cook for 2-3 minutes

Add herbs and lettuce until just wilted

Using immersion blender, blend soup

Before blending and finished product








Can be served hot or refrigerated and served cold in glasses as an appetizer.


Secret ingredient to meatless stew


And how about a new take on traditional Irish stew – and this is something everyone (vegans and non-vegans alike) can enjoy










  • 1 (14g) package of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 lbs cremini mushrooms (aka baby portobellos)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil (may need to add more if mushrooms are “thirsty”)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • ½ large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1½ tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dehydrated minced garlic
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground allspice (essential ingredient!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ( 110g) packages of vacuum packed, cooked, peeled chestnuts

Sage and veggies and mushroom broth


  1. In small glass bowl, pour 1 cup boiling water over dried mushrooms; let stand 15 minutes. Reserve liquid. Transfer rehydrated mushrooms to food processor and add cremini mushrooms. Pulse until chopped. May need to do in batches.


  1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and saute celery, onion and carrots until softened, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Stir in chopped mushrooms, herbs and spices, salt and pepper; cook until mushrooms are softened about 4 minutes. Stir in reserved mushroom liquid and cook until almost all liquid is evaporated about 2 minutes.


  1. Pulse chestnuts in food processor until coarsely chopped. Stir into mushroom mixture.



Serve with mixed greens, blueberries, cucumbers (and your neighbours’ homemade zucchini relish or similar) and enjoy!

Call out to my readers – Do you have any favourite recipes that you’ve switched up? Would love for you to share your successes (and the not-so-successful, if you like) Happy experimenting. Until next time.



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