April 4, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day Soup!

Traditionally, I make corned beef and cabbage each St. Patty's Day. However, this year things were a bit crazy.

I hadn't been feeling well, the hub's family left that morning while we were at work from their visit with us, and we do NOT like Corned Beef and Cabbage in the crockpot - so I couldn't do a boiled dinner on a week night.

I wanted to find something though that would give us a similar feeling for St. Patty's Day dinner and I came across this recipe on Epicurious.com. Again, Loving this site for recipes lately - don't know why it took me so long to get on the Epicurious bandwagon.

This was SUPER easy, tasty and will be a make again in our house.

I did make some slight alterations to the recipe that we really enjoyed.

Served with some nice Irish Soda Bread, it was a good St. Patty's all around!

Bacon and Cabbage Soup

1 (1/3-pound) piece Irish bacon (available at specialty foods shops) or Canadian bacon (We used Canadian Bacon and I used a whole pound of CB)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (I used 4)
5 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth (I ended up using about 6 cups of stock and still adding water - again I was trying to make more than the recipe)
4 Turkish bay leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 small head Savoy cabbage, cored, thinly sliced, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used pre-shredded bagged cole slaw mix with the red cabbage and carrots as well and it was so much easier and added some nice color)

In small saucepan, combine bacon and cold water to cover. Cover, bring to boil over moderate heat, and skim foam from surface. Reduce heat and simmer 7 minutes. Drain and cool, then cut into 1-inch chunks. Set aside. (Omitted this step, just diced the Canadian Bacon and added it near the end of the cooking process to warm)

In 6-quart heavy stock pot over moderate heat, melt butter. Add onion and sauté, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add potatoes and sauté 2 minutes. Add stock, bay leaves, salt, and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to moderately low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add cabbage and simmer 5 additional minutes. Discard bay leaves. Working in 3 batches, in blender purée soup until smooth (using caution when blending hot liquids) *NOTE* We did not puree it, we went for simplicity and rustic and it was so good to have all of the different pieces in there!. Return to pot, stir in bacon, and rewarm if necessary. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

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