Thursday, March 17

Colcannon Soup

Fern Glen Inn •

I was rifling through my recipe box the other day and came across a hand written card with the recipe for Colcannon Soup. How appropriate, I thought, with St. Patrick's Day around the corner.

The soup is based on a classic Irish dish, colcannon, which is a mix of mashed potatoes and cabbage. Sometimes kale is used in place of cabbage, and some versions include other ingredients such as onions or leeks. It's a comfort food side dish that translates deliciously into a hearty winter soup.

The first time I tasted it was at a house party one February years and years ago. My friend, Evelyn, had made a big pot of soup and set it out with breads and cheeses for people to help themselves. If I had known there was cabbage in there, I never would have tried it (I was sure I didn't like cabbage -- what can I say, I was young and foolish!). But the soup was perfect for a warm gathering of friends on a cold, snowy evening.

A couple weeks later I received a note in the mail along with the recipe for the soup. I had told Evelyn how much I enjoyed it and she wrote it out and sent it along for me. This was back in the day (boy, I sound old!) when email was not a part of everyday life. Back then, sending someone a recipe took a bit of time and effort -- and a stamp. Truly the actions of a good friend!

So this week I made a pot of Colcannon Soup because winter vegetables are what I cook with in March. And because it's a nod to the Irish on their day of celebration. And because it makes me happy to think of friendship and food and the sharing of both.


Colcannon Soup

2 Tbsp butter or olive oil

3 leeks, white and light green parts, sliced and washed
4 cups diced green cabbage
3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken broth
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup light cream or milk (more or less as desired)
6 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Heat butter or oil in a dutch oven. Add leeks. Cook gently until wilted. Add cabbage and cook a few minutes, stirring. Add potatoes, broth, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.

With a potato masher, gently mash some of the potatoes so that the soup thickens. Fish out and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

Stir in the cream or milk. Use more or less to achieve your desired consistency. Stir in the green onions and parsley and cook for one minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot.

Like many soups, it's just as delicious reheated the next day. Add diced ham or corned beef if you like.

Makes 4-6 servings.


Lucy said...

thanks for the lovely post and the delicious sounding recipe! i'm so totally going to try it. (just don't tell david it has veggies in it!)

Jackie said...

Thanks Lucy! Let me know how it goes over with David and the other anti-veggies in the house. I hope you like it!

Lucy said...

OK: YUMMY! everyone emptied their bowls! :) and no comments about the veggie content. ;)

Jackie said...

Yay! Glad everyone liked it! Thanks for the feedback!

bellini valli said...

I loved this soup Jackie and it was the perfect balance for the occasion.