No Irish meal would be complete without potatoes, we Irish LOVE our potatoes. I turned up the volume on one of my favorite soups, Potato Leek. Try this recipe for Potato Leek Soup with Irish Soda Bread Croutons. The arugula gives the soup a nice depth of flavor, not to mention that special hue of St. Patty’s Day green. Top this soup with fresh and toasty Irish Soda Bread Croutons. This soup is hearty and delicious and I’m sure you will add this recipe to your favorites as well.
Potato Leek Soup
4 large Yukon Gold Potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks)
3 tbs butter
2 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups baby arugula, lightly packed
1/2 cup hard cider
6 cups chicken stock
Place a wide, large pot over medium high heat. You want to use a pot with a large bottom so that the vegetables will hit enough surface area Add the butter and olive. When the butter is melted add the leeks and potatoes and give them a stir so that they are coated with the butter and oil. Season well with salt and pepper. I like to use the ratio of 1 tsp salt to 1/2 tsp pepper. Let the potatoes and leeks cook for about 10-15 minuets or until the leeks are translucent and the potatoes are slightly tender. Next add the hard cider to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Stir ingredients together and cook until about half the cider has evaporated.
Next add just enough of the chickens stock to cover the leeks and potatoes, save at least 2 cups for later on. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. This means you can insert a fork easily into the potato and it will be easy to remove as well. When potatoes are done turn of the heat and add the arugula. Stir until all the arugula has wilted. The heat from the stock will allow this to happen. Let the soup cool for a bit before placing it into the food processor or blender.
In batches, transfer the vegetables to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. You may also use a blender if you don’t have a food processor. Add about 5 cups of the chicken stock one ladle at a time to make a puree. Pour the puree back into the pot. Continue to puree the vegetables in batches until they’re all done and combined in the pot. Add enough of the remaining 1 to 2 cups of stock to make a thick soup. Add 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and check the seasonings.
Irish Soda Bread Croutons
1 loaf of good quality Irish Soda Bread
3 tbs melted Kerrygold Butter*
*Kerrygold butter is pure Irish butter made from the milk of Ireland’s finest cows. It is sweet, nutty and delicious and Irish of course.
Preheat the oven to 400º. In a small pot, or even the microwave, melt the 3 tbs of Kerrygold Butter. Slice the Soda Bread into 4 or 5 think slices, then cut into medium-sized cubes, or how ever big or small you want your croutons.
Place the cubes on a baking sheet and drizzle over the butter. Gently toss the croutons so that they are evenly coated with butter. Make sure to do this gently since Irish Soda bread can be crumbly.
Bake for 10-12 minuets or until the croutons are a light golden brown.
Last thing to do is grab yourself a bowl fill it up with nice big serving of creamy Potato Leek Soup, top it with fresh warm Irish Soda Bread Croutons and dig in.