|Serves:||Soup: Serves 5 (each serving contains approximately 340 kcal)|
|1 onion or leek|
|500g mixed Irish vegetables (such as celery, carrots, potatoes)|
|5g fresh chives (optional)|
|900ml vegetable stock (made up from 2 reduced sodium stock cubes)|
|salt (optional) and freshly ground black pepper|
Peel the onion and cut in half, then finely chop or trim the leek and finely chop. Peel the vegetables, then trim and cut into dice. Snip the chives and set aside for garnish, if using.
Melt the butter in a large pan set over a medium heat. Add the onion or leek and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, until softened but not coloured. Add the Irish vegetables and stir to combine, then pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Season lightly with salt (optional) and freshly ground black pepper, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are completely soft.
Blitz with a hand-blender or in a food processor (in batches if necessary) until smooth or of course you could also leave chunky.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and scatter over the chives to garnish, if using. Add a good grinding of black pepper to each one and serve each portion with the open porridge bread sandwich to serve. This soup will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge or can be frozen into individual portions in freezer bags and thawed out as needed.