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Friday, March 8, 2013

Irish Cabbage & Bacon Soup w/ Blarney Castle Sourdough Toasts

aka Proscrastination Soup - so worth the (unnecessary) wait. 

A few days ago, I mentioned my habitual practice of procrastinating  - especially when it comes to things that are quick and simple to make.  And I'm gonna go ahead and say those things are usually particularly tasty, as well.

This soup is one of those things.  I guess that mentioning it "out loud" must have given me the kick in the seat that I needed - because you're looking at a bowl of soup four weeks in the making (errr...waiting).  And two potatoes in the compost bin.  

Today, I finally called it lunch.  Thirty-odd minutes after I decided I was not letting more spuds go to waste.
Slightly sweet from the cabbage...slightly viscous (in a good way, not a gummy way) from the starchy potatoes...slightly meaty from the bits of pancetta...slightly tangy from the addition of sourdough toasts...slightly creamy on top from the blanket of melted cheese...

...100% comfort food.

(I don't know what little Charlie Bucket was so upset about.  Cabbage Soup makes me happy.  Well, okay, maybe not Cabbage Water Soup.  And maybe not every day.  Nevermind.  I get it.)

Irish Cabbage & Bacon Soup w/ Blarney Castle Sourdough Toasts

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: ~30 minutes
Keywords: soup/stew cabbage pancetta Irish

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 10 oz. diced pancetta
  • 1 extra-large potato, peeled & diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled & smashed
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 4-6 c. chicken stock (or vegetable stock or water)
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can fire-roasted, diced tomatoes w/ their juices
  • 4½ c. shredded cabbage (~½ of a small cabbage)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
to serve:
  • 1 (8 oz.) sourdough baguette
  • ~4 oz. Kerrygold Blarney Castle Cheese
Place the butter in the bottom of a Dutch oven (or large, heavy pot) over medium-high heat. Once it has melted, add the pancetta, potato, garlic, and onions; saute for a few minutes. Cover and allow to steam for 10 minutes.

Add the stock, oregano, and tomatoes with their juices to the pot, and bring to a boil. Stir in the shredded cabbage. Partially cover, reduce heat, and allow to simmer gently for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper (you may not need salt if your stock or broth was salted).

Serve right away, or cool and refrigerate for up to 3 or 4 days (soup only gets better with time).

If you are serving this right away, turn on your broiler while the soup is simmering. Slice the sourdough baguette into thin slices, slightly on the bias (diagonal-ish). Slice the cheese into ¼" slices. Set the baguette slices under the broiler, when they turn golden around the edges and a bit in the middle, flip them over. Once they've started to turn golden, lay a slice or two of cheese on each and continue to broil until melted.

Serve the soup with a few of the toasts on top and/or on the side.

If you are unable to find pancetta, you can use bacon instead. However, I would cook it first (without butter), until the fat is rendered and it is slightly crisp. Scoop out the bacon onto a paper towel-lined plate and add enough butter to the bacon grease left in the pan to equal 4 tablespoons. Continue recipe with the first 10 minute steam of the veggies. Stir in the bacon just after the soup finishes cooking completely.

inspired by and adapted from Clodagh's Kitchen Diaries
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disclosure:  I am a member of the Kerrygold Food Blogger Network, but that in no way influences my love for Kerrygold cheese (I loved it before I was a member).  I bought this cheese with my own money.  All opinions are my own.