As promised, today (naturally) is about the Emerald Isle and St. Pat’s Cross. Because it’s 17 March it’s all about the Irish!
If the Fashion Mister and I didn’t live here in Australia, I’m pretty sure it would be in Ireland…and my first choice would be Dublin! Love that city. From the moment I got off the plane, it felt like I was home.
Killaloe, near Limerick is where the Fashion Mister’s great grand-father immigrated from. It’s a beautiful little fishing village along the banks of the Shannon river. It was about a 15 minute drive from the home of one of my good friends so we were able to track down some family history and catch-up with friends at the same time.
We also drove out to the Barren to check out this ancient Dolmen. The rocks are huge and you do wonder how 2500 years ago they managed to lift and stack them. And then you start to wonder WHY?
They have moved St. Patrick’s cross inside to protect it and replaced it outside with a replica at the Rock of Cashel.
All this touring about can make you very hungry, and as it is Ireland, it must be time for a recipe based around POTATO! 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 favourite, Colcannon Soup.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 ¼ hours
Serves: approx. 6
100 ml olive oil
1 white cabbage, cored & shredded
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
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 coloured. Add the white wine, potatoes, onions and nutmeg and pour in enough water to cover. Add the pork belly and bring to the boil, 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 colour. 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!
My ode to the Emerald Isle on this St. Pat’s Day!
- Colcannon (foodiefriendsfridaydailydish.com)
- The Emerald Isle or Oz the Great and Powerful? (astimegoesbuy.me)
- Emerald: It’s Not Just for St. Patrick’s Day This Year! (apartmentguide.com)
- Why the Shamrock is Good Luck (personalcreations.com)