Colcannon (mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage) and Potato Leek Soup are both traditional Irish dishes. In honor of the upcoming Saint Patrick’s Day, I decided to combine the two…with my own twist, using spinach.
I found out recently that I do have some Irish in me, which would explain my love of celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day every March 17, the date of Patrick’s death. And while Saint Patrick’s Day isn’t an official holiday in the United States, it’s a great excuse to break out with some Irish fare.
Rich and creamy, this soup is a hearty dish that will warm you on a chilly spring night. The flavor is enhanced with the use of stock and brandy…with cream, blended potato and some cheese as the thickeners. It doesn’t take a huge bowl of this soup to fill you right up.
While not necessary, the addition of crispy bacon bits on the top adds a bit of meat and crunch. And honestly, what’s not better with some bacon added?
If you’re searching for something easy, but hearty, with roots in Irish tradition to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, this is the dish for you. Serve it up with some Herb Guinness Bread, posted previously, and you will not be sorry.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 leek, whites and light green leaves, cut length-wise and sliced, soaked and drained
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups potatoes (with jackets-skins-on), cubed*
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 26 ounces chicken stock
- ½ cup brandy
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 ounces frozen, chopped spinach
- 4 ounces Irish cheddar cheese, grated**
- 4 slices bacon, diced, crisped and drained (optional garnish)
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (optional garnish)
- In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the leeks and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add the garlic and continue to saute for a minute.
- Add the potatoes and thyme and stir, continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the stock and brandy.
- Cover the pot and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender (about 20 minutes).
- When the potatoes are fork tender, with a slotted spoon, remove about half of them to a bowl and set aside.
- With an immersion blender (or by removing in batches to a blender), puree the ingredients remaining in the stockpot.
- If you used a blender, return the pureed mixture to the stockpot.
- Add the cream, spinach, cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, allowing the soup to thicken further.
- Add the reserved potato pieces back into the pot.
- Serve in warmed bowls, garnish with bacon bits and chopped fresh parsley.
**any aged white cheddar will substitute