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The Irish Boutique - Long Grove, IL (847 634 3540)

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The Irish Boutique - Crystal Lake, IL (815 459 1800)


847 634 0339

The Irish Boutique is an Irish import store that has been located in the Chicago land area for over 40 years.  The shop stocks a variety of products ranging from Irish jewelry, crystal, china, food, sweaters, caps, t-shirts and a wide variety of Irish gifts. 

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Soup Weather: White Bean and Ham Soup

john barry


I can hardly believe how we’ve gone from sun to soup so quickly. The kids are a constant reminder to be adaptable because they don’t let these changes get to them. If anything, are excited to get our their coats, hats and gloves. Lucky for me, they love soup.  It’s about the only way I can get Emmett or Isla to eat a vegetable. Plus, if I make a big pot of soup on Sunday, I can rest assured that I have something in the house (other than leftover Halloween candy, frozen pizza or mac ‘n cheese) to feed hungry bodies.  #winning.

I like to partially puree the soup so make it thick but without sacrificing all of the chunks.  Isla won’t eat it unless her portion is completely pureed but Emmett, who is getting better about that sort of thing, ate a bowl chunks and all, proudly exclaiming “I just ate a piece of carrot! On purpose!” Eve, of course, is the best and eats it all with abandon.  I’m just waiting for her to get picky but holding out hope that it won’t happen (it will).

White Bean and Ham Soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 ham bone (optional)
  • 1 cup cubed cooked ham or Irish bacon
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can white (navy) beans or garbanzo beans*

*Usually I would use navy beans for this but I used garbanzos because that’s what I had in the cupboard.

Heat butter in large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, celery, carrots, rosemary and  thyme and cook until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the heat down if onions and garlic start to brown too much.

Add potatoes and ham bone (if using) and cook 2 minutes more.

Add chicken stock and turn the heat up until it reaches a boil, scraping brown bits from the sides of the pan.

Turn heat down to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

Add beans and diced ham or Irish bacon and cook for 15 minutes more.

Partially puree soup (either by blending about half of it in a blender, or partially pureeing it with a stick blender, making sure to leave chunks of vegetables and meat in tact).

Serve warm with chopped herbs and soda bread.