Recipe – Rustic Potato Soup with Kale and Bacon
A taste of Ireland for Saint Patrick’s Day
While I traveled through Ireland last year I tasted some really amazing soups and stews. As with many Irish dishes, the potato is an omnipresent ingredient. You never really appreciate the flexibility of the potato until you tried it 30 different ways. This recipe is for a rustic Irish potato soup with kale and bacon. It is rich and hearty, perfect for a cold winter meal. This dish is hearty enough to help sober up after a day of drinking on St. Patrick’s Day.
The base of this recipe is the same as making a colcannon, which is similar to mashed potatoes. The key different is the amount of milk and butter ratios used in the recipe. On the bottom of the post I will show the variation for Colcannon.
I tested this recipe with a couple products from my friends at Melissa’s Produce
White or Flowering Kale
I used a variety of Kale called Flowering Kale. . If you look at it from the top, the kale looks like it is flowering. Flowering kale is actually a member of the cabbage family, but with a milder flavor. The leaves are somewhat sweet, but the stems are bitter. I used an even mixture in this recipe. You can substitute other kale varieties and/or cabbage in this recipe.
Baby Dutch Yellow and Ruby Gold Potatoes
Both of these potatoes are small and have a subtle flavor and very creamy flesh. They are small, so they cook quickly and easy to smash. I like using the potatoes whole, skin and all. The ruby red potatoes give a little extra color.
Leeks have a milk onion flavor with a hint of garlic. I used Melissa’s Produce pre-trimmed and cleaned leeks, which saved a significant amount of time.
Irish Potato Soup Ingredients
- 1 Pound Melissa’s Produce Dutch Yellow Potatoes
- 1 Pound Melissa’s Produce Ruby Gold Potatoes
- ¼ Pound thick cut bacon (Smoked and center cut is best)
- ½ Large sweet brown onion
- 3 Garlic cloves – minced
- ½ Trimmed Melissa’s Produce Leek- cut in ¼ inch slices (¼ white segments and ¼ green segments)
- 1 Bunch Melissa’s Produce Flowering Kale – cut or torn into one inch segments (may substitute any type of kale or cabbage)
- ¼ Cup Guinness stout
- 3 Cups chicken stock
- 3 Cups milk (low fat or whole)
- 1 Quart heavy cream
1) Using a stock pot, boil the potatoes in salted water until potato smashes with flat fork
-While potatoes boil-
2) In a deep pan, cook bacon to a light crisp – reserve ½ rendered fat
3) Using the same pan that you cooked the bacon, adjust heat to medium. Add onions, garlic and leek slices to hot pan.
4) When onions begin to sweat, add kale. Cook until kale begins to wilt. Remove from heat.
6) Drain potatoes and gently smash potatoes until they are all broken up. You want a very chunky mash.
7) Add potatoes to the pan and add some of the reserved bacon fat, salt, lemon juice, Guinness, salt and fresh pepper to taste.
9) With heat still on Medium-high, integrate the potatoes and vegetables. Allowing the potatoes to slightly brown and stick to the pan.
10) Using the same stockpot that you boiled the potatoes, add the chicken stock, milk and heavy cream.Heat until milk mixture begins to simmer. Stir regularly.
11) Add the potato mixture to milk mixture. Stir to integrate ingredients.
12) Cook on medium-low heat for at least 10 minutes, longer for a thicker soup.
13) Serve with chives or green onions.
At step 9, add one cup of milk and ½ cup butter to the potato mixture.
Whip potatoes until thick and fluffy.
Read my other Posts
- Ireland – Part 1- Background and Culinary Renaissance
- Ireland -Part 2 – Dublin – Traditional Restaurants and Modern Gastropubs
- Ireland -Part 3 – Dublin – Fine Dining Restaurants
- Ireland -Part 4 – Cork- English Market
- Ireland- Part 5- Cork Restaurant Recommendations
- Ireland -Part 6- Exploring the Guinness Storehouse
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