Most traditional Irish fare, such as steak and stout pie and creamy colcannon potatoes, is heavy on animal protein. This can make ringing in the March 17 festivities a challenge for people who don’t eat animal products due to food allergies, or because of ethical reasons, including a vegan diet.
With the below twist on a classic Irish recipe, however, you’ll be on your way to a healthy Irish feast you won’t soon forget – even after a frosty green beverage or two. Sláinte!
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup sliced leeks
4 small potatoes, cubed
2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp. tomato paste
440 ml crushed tomatoes, fresh or from a can
2 cups store-bought or homemade vegetable stock
3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tsp. chopped thyme
1 cup beer, pale ale or lager
2 tbsp. flour or 1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup shredded cabbage
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and leeks and sauté until soft – about five minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, tomato paste, and crushed tomatoes and cook for five minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock, and add the fresh sprigs and chopped thyme. Bring the stew to a rolling boil, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add the beer, flour or cornstarch, and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Stir until the stew starts to thicken. Remove the thyme sprigs, and stir in cabbage until it is soft, about five minutes. Season the stew with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with your favourite vegan Irish soda bread and margarine, and enjoy!