Time to throw a little Irish into your cooking mix

By Jamie Durrant

Herald Office Manager

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been able to get colcannon out of my head since last St. Patrick’s Day — it was so delicious. I loved colcannon so much that I knew it would be hard to top, then I found the perfect recipe to try and hopefully share: colcannon soup! Let me tell you, it is amazing.

It would also be great way to use up leftover corned beef instead of using the bacon. I know I am going to this year. I also found an Irish brown bread recipe that doesn’t have any yeast, it seemed really easy to make so I gave it a shot. It is equally amazing and oh, so easy to make. Just be sure you start the bread first, as it takes an hour to bake (I learned that the hard way) and as it bakes, you, too, can watch your spouse pace the kitchen floor, waiting for that fragrant bread to finally be done so he or she can eat it with a second bowl soup. My husband told me to add both recipes to the “keeper file.” Happy St. Patrick’s Day — enjoy!

Colcannon Soup

8 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 cups leeks, sliced

2 cups green cabbage, sliced

4 cups potatoes, peeled and diced

6 cups chicken stock

2 bay leaves

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 green onions, sliced

In a heavy-bottomed soup pot on medium heat, cook the bacon until tender and crisp. With a slotted spoon, scoop the bacon out and let drain on paper towel. Drain all but 6 tablespoons of the bacon grease.

Add the sliced leeks and cabbage to the bacon grease, toss to coat, lower heat to low, cover and gently cook until the greens are wilted, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Add the potatoes to the pot, along with the bacon, chicken stock, bay leaves, and salt. Increase heat to bring to a gentle rolling simmer and cook until the potatoes are softened and falling apart, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in the pepper, heavy cream and green onions. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Irish Brown Bread

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup bran cereal, crushed

1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar, depending on taste

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flours, bran, sugar and soda. Make a well in the center and pour buttermilk and oil into the well. Stir to moisten. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour.

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