As a friend’s daughter aptly put it when finding the city again snow covered upon waking up this morning, “I want real Spring…not this fake Spring”.
I couldn’t agree more.
But, seeing the snowflakes falling outside and bundling up inside once more, I decided to make a batch of (hopefully our last of the season) hearty soup. And, I couldn’t resist a side of freshly baked bread.
The smells alone wafting through our kitchen and dining room were enough to comfort me out of my sorrows for enduring another cold, blustery day.
Of course, with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I decided to make some classic Irish Potato Soup (a lighter version too, got to make sure we stay fit for swimsuit season!). And, of course, there had to be beer tucked in somewhere so, freshly baked Honey Beer Bread was my choice.
The savory blend of onions, potatoes, and bacon in the soup was balanced by the honey beer bread which has a slight hint of sweet. I used Honey Brown Lager as the beer of choice which really brought out the honey flavors, but you can use any kind you would like for this beer bread recipe.
After having tried many different beer bread recipes. This recipe is hands down my favorite. It is straight up from one of my favorite food bloggers and KC friends, Alison from Gimme Some Oven. Her blog is a feast for the eyes as well as your palates. So, mosey on over to her blog for the original delicious recipe for Honey Beer Bread…and check out some of the other awesome recipes while you are there.
As for the soup, I actually had a cup of authentic Irish Potato Soup while in Ireland my first time (in the middle of nowhere I might add). We had been traveling all day and finally made it to our destination in the middle of a farm. Starving, we practically leaped out of the bus and ran inside the little wooden house/restaurant. What met us then was one of the most heavenly smells we could imagine, fresh piping hot soup.
Now, whenever I think of needing a comforting cup of soup, Irish Potato Soup always comes to mind. But, I usually steer clear of this soup because of the extra waistline tax associated with it due to all of the extra cheese and cream. But, have no fear! I have found a recipe that packs in all of the rich creamy goodness without all of the “extras”. I added in carrots to squeeze in another veggie (and remind me of the Irish original I had) and the cheese, bacon, grease, etc. is all optional. We used reduced fat cheese and reduced sodium broth too. And it was so creamy that if I had not known better I would have sworn the cream was still added. (I love it when that happens).
So, I hope everyone has a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day this year and enjoys a heaping bowl of hearty, creamy (light) Irish Potato Soup. (I hear ours will have a day close to 70 degrees…woohoo!).
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 shallots, diced
- 3 large baking potatoes, diced (we left ours unpeeled for nutritional value, but you can peel them if you want to)
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
- 32 oz. low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons bacon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Toppings: shredded sharp cheddar cheese, chopped fresh chives, crumbled fully-cooked bacon, sour cream
- In a large sauce pan, melt butter on medium low. Chop onions and shallots and then saute in butter for 5 minutes then simmer for 20 minutes, covered.
- While onions are simmering, chop up potatoes and shred carrots. Stir into onion mix and cover and cook on medium low for another 15 minutes.
- Stir in chicken broth, bacon salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Simmer for 30-40 minutes until potatoes are tender. Using an immersion blender, blend until creamy (or until desired consistency is reached). Continue to heat on low until heated up to serving temperature.
- Garnish with cheese, chives, bacon and/or sour cream (if desired). Serve hot with a slice of beer bread on the side.Honey Beer Bread from Gimme Some Oven