Monday, January 21, 2008

Recipe for Imbolc Potato and Carrot Soup

Potato and Carrot Soup

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 head white cabbage, cored, thinly shredded
dash of nutmeg
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. fennel
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
5 cups vegetable broth or light chicken broth
6 Yukon Gold (or yellow) potatoes, peeled and cut
1/2 cup milk, or almond milk
1-2 Tbs. light cream, or soy cream
fresh chives, chopped, for garnish

In a heavy soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat, and sauté the onion until softened. Add the carrots, cabbage and spices, sea salt and white pepper, stir and cook for ten minutes. Add in the vegetable broth and potatoes, bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. When the vegetables are done, carefully ladle the soup mixture into a blender, reserving about a cup of the whole vegetable pieces in the soup pot. Cover the blender and puree the soup mixture until it is smooth, then pour the pureed soup back into the soup pot, stirring it together with the reserved vegetable pieces. Stir in 1/2 cup milk, and gently heat it through, being careful not to bring the soup to a boil.
Add in cream, if desired.
Garnish with fresh chopped chives.
Serves 4-6
  • Serve this soup with fresh baked herb biscuits and a salad topped with goat's milk cheese. All representing the coming of SPRING!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The lore of Brigid's Day (Imbolc)

One folk tradition that continues in both Christian and Pagan homes on St. Brigid's Day (or Imbolc) is that of the Brigid's Bed. The girls and young, unmarried women of the household or village create a corn dolly to represent Brigid, called the Brideog ("little Brigid" or "young Brigid"), adorning it with ribbons and baubles like shells or stones. They make a bed for the Brideog to lay in. On St. Brigid's Eve (Jan. 31), the girls and young women gather together in one house to stay up all night with the Brideog, and are later visited by all the young men of the community who must ask permission to enter the home, and then treat them and the corn dolly with respect.Brigid is said to walk the earth on Imbolc eve. Before going to bed, each member of the household may leave a piece of clothing or strip of cloth outside for Brigid to bless. The head of the household will smoor the fire and rakes the ashes smooth. In the morning, they look for some kind of mark on the ashes, a sign that Brigid has passed that way in the night or morning. The clothes or strips of cloth are brought inside, and believed to now have powers of healing and protection.On the following day, the girls carry the Brideog through the village or neighborhood, from house to house, where this representation of the Saint/goddess is welcomed with great honor. Adult women - those who are married or who run a household - stay home to welcome the Brigid procession, perhaps with an offering of coins or a snack. Since Brigid represents the light half of the year, and the power that will bring people from the dark season of winter into spring, her presence is very important at this time of year.

You can purchase a corn husk Brigid doll kit at a WONDERFUL pagan site!