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Irish Potato Leek Soup

IrishSoup
Photos by Shari K. Johnston-O'Neill

Just in time for St. Patty's Day!

This recipe originates with the Moone High Cross in County Kildare, Ireland. The inn is owned by the Clynch family and it's been in operation 1700's. We've adapted the recipe a bit (but just a wee bit). The inn was County Kildare's "Pub of the Year" in 2004. Purportedly a celebrity favorite, they even named their bar "The Clint Eastwood Saloon". If you go, it's on the road from Dublin to Kilkenny.

Recipe from "The Irish Pub Cookbook" by Margaret M. Johnson.

Irish Potato Leek Soup
Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 leeks (white part only) washed and sliced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 6 medium potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 6 cups of vegetable stock (see how to make your own with the recipe below!)
  • 1 1/4 cups half and half
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Minced fresh flat leaf parsley for garnish
Preparation:
  1. In a stockpot melt butter and saute onions and leeks at a low heat (covered) for 5 to 7 minutes so that the onions and leeks are soft but not browned.
  2. Add potatoes and stock and cook for 30 minutes until potatoes are soft.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer all to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Unless you have a very large food processor you will have to work in batches.
  5. Return soup to stockpot and briskly stir in half and half.
  6. Add salt and pepper and simmer until soup is hot.
  7. Serve in bowls, sprinkle with parsley. Eat with a crusty bread.

Homemade Vegetable Stock


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 1 leek (white part only)
  • 1 carrot peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 5 large white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 6 1/2 cups cold water
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 6 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Preparation:
  • In a stockpot melt butter and saute onions for 5 minutes until they start to brown.
  • Add leeks, carrots, celery, mushrooms, potatoes and 1/3 cup of the water.
  • Cook covered for 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients (water, garlic, peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf, parsley and salt) to pot.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer uncovered for 2 hours.
  • Strain stock through a fine strainer into a suitably sized bowl or container for storage.
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