I love Ireland, no seriously, I REALLY LOVE Ireland!
Dublin is in my top five cities of the world and if I didn’t currently live in Australia, I would be living in Dublin. And as our dear friend, Megan, from The Thread Affect is on holiday in Ireland, it got me thinking about the Emerald Isle.
For a large part of both the population of the US and Australia, we can trace our “roots” and heritage back to Ireland, so going there on holiday is in a sense going home. A few years ago, my husband, also known as The Fashion Mister and I, made our pilgrimage back to the homeland. Our first stop was in Dublin. We were there to do the standard tourist things but also to meet up with some of the Irish Clan.
At our first meal in Dublin we stayed at the hotel and went to the restaurant for lunch. They were serving a buffet style meal and it meant we didn’t have to stray too far. As I worked my way through the line I noticed they served potatoes three, yes THREE, different ways, and it seemed you had to have at least two versions on your plate or you couldn’t proceed!
Little did I know that this was merely the beginning of the potato feast during our two week stay! We quickly learned that everything is better with potato and bacon. If you could fit cabbage into the mix all the better!
In fact colcannon, a traditional Irish dish of mashed potato with kale or cabbage, is often topped off with a little bacon. It’s this delicious Irish dish that inspired me when I returned to make what has now become a family favorite, Colcannon Soup.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 ¼ hours
Serves: approx. 6
3.5 oz (100 ml) olive oil
1 white cabbage, cored & shredded
6 oz (175 ml) white wine
3 large potatoes, coarsely chopped
2 onions, coarsely chopped
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
6 thick slices of pork belly
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
7 oz (200 ml) double cream (sour cream works nicely too)
Salt & pepper
Heat 5 tablespoons of the oil in a large pan. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, until softened but not colored. Add the white wine, potatoes, onions, and nutmeg and pour in enough water to cover. Add the pork belly and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for about 1 hour, until the meat is tender.
Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat the remaining oil in a small frying pan. Add the garlic and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, until it is just beginning to color. If necessary, reheat the soup (I often return it to the hot pan and keep it covered to keep it warm during this step.
Serve the soup hot in bowls with a swirl of cream and the garlic chips. Serve the pork belly either in the soup or separately on slices of toasted rustic bread.
This soup is divine. Haven’t met a soul yet that doesn’t go back for more!