Irish Cabbage & Potato Soup with Ham
Adapted from epicurious
I hear that in Ireland, this soup is made with bacon; however, the Irish bacon is different than the fatty smoked strips of goodness we eat in America. Irish bacon is a moderately marbled cut with less fat than American bacon but a bit more than Canadian. So, since there is no Irish bacon to be had here in the American Midwest, I thought ham might be a more suitable substitute. And it just so happens that I had some really beautiful lean ham in my freezer that was just aching to be used. It was leftover ham from Christmas, which I had frozen for “later”.
Typically for St. Patrick’s Day, I make Corned Beef & Cabbage. It’s a tradition at my house. So I picked up a cabbage as I always do this time of year (it’s the one time of year that I actually buy cabbage), but I know we won’t eat it all. I will be the only one who will eat the cabbage. So I decided to get a head start on using up the cabbage and make some Irish cabbage soup.
This soup is a delicate, smooth, creamy soup without cream. It’s a lovely light green color with chunks of pink ham floating about in it. I added some Havarti cheese for a little extra flavor, but you could surely make it without the cheese if you want a dairy free soup.
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 - 2 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 small sweet onion, peeled & chopped (about 2/3 cup)
- 2 small splashes of Irish red ale (1 - 2 Tablespoons)
- 4 cups (1 quart) chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 of a head of green cabbage, cored and chopped (about 3 cups, packed)
- 3/4 cup chopped, fully cooked ham (or Irish bacon)
- 1/2 cup shredded Havarti cheese
- Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the garlic & onion and saute for several minutes, stirring constantly. When the onions start to get "dry", add a splash of ale and continue to cook until the liquid is gone. Add another splash of ale and again cook and stir until the liquid is gone.
- Add the broth, bay leaf and potatoes, cover and cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. (Cooking time will vary depending on how small you've cut your potatoes.)
- Stir in the cabbage and cook for just a few minutes, until the cabbage is tender but still a pretty green.
- Remove the bay leaf, let the soup cool a bit, then put about half of the soup in the blender with a few bits of ham. Cover the blender with a towel and gently pulse a few times. Let any steam out of the blender, then blend till smooth. Do the same with the rest of the soup. Put the soup back in the saucepan and stir in the rest of the ham and the cheese. Cook over medium heat until the cheese is melted and the soup is hot. Taste and season with salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste. Serve hot, garnished with extra chunks of ham and snipped chives.
To make this soup gluten free, use white wine or water in place of the Irish ale.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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This recipe was shared at Real Food Friday, Sunday Dinner, Munching Monday, Tuesday’s Table, Happiness is Homemade, Simple Supper Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Bloghop, The Gathering Spot, Moonlight & Mason Jars, Gluten Free Friday and Gluten Free Link Party.