‘There’s been a tendency to regard Instagram-friendly Irish interpretation of international cuisine as somehow better than the original’ – award-winning Spice Bags podcast

Growing up in Tipperary, Dee Laffan and her dad had soup for lunch every Saturday. The recipe wasn’t based on homemade chicken stock and vegetables from the garden, though. “We had a press beside our cooker with a shelf that swivelled outwards holding a Tupperware box containing a range of Knorr packet soups,” she writes in the introduction to new Irish cookbook Soup, which she has co-written with Blanca Valencia and Mei Chin, and features recipes from international contributors based in Ireland.

Our menu consisted of two types of flavours. First there were the ‘pure’ flavours, such as thick chicken, cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, farmhouse vegetable and oxtail, which could each be made and enjoyed solely as one soup. Or we had the ‘blended’ selection, which introduced varieties like potato and leek; mushroom, cauliflower and broccoli; chicken and vegetable; and thick country vegetable. My father mastered the art of making his own custom blends by mixing and matching the different packets — the special Laffan blends.”


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