Irish Potato Cabbage Soup with Bacon & Cheese
- 2 slices of uncured bacon*
- 1 tablespoon rendered bacon fat
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ large onion, chopped (about ¾ cup)
- 3 small carrots, diced
- 4 cups cabbage, coarsely chopped (about ½ of a large cabbage)
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large yellow-skinned Idaho® potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
- ½ teaspoon crumbled dry sage
- ½ teaspoon Lo-Salt*
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, preferably homemade
- ½ cup Guinness or dark beer of your choice
- crumbled bacon
- ½ cup shredded Castelo Caraway Havarti cheese
- thinly sliced cabbage
- sliced green onion
- Heat cast iron Dutch oven or heavy 3 qt. saucepan over med-high heat. Cook the bacon until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the fat and cool. Drain all but a tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pot. When the bacon has cooled, crumble it and reserve for later.
- Return the pan to the burner on medium heat, add the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, cook for about 5 minutes, until it begins to soften. Stir in the carrots, cook for another 2 minutes. Then, add the cabbage and garlic. Cook the cabbage mixture for about 3 minutes, until softened.
- Add the broth and Guinness and spices: white pepper, caraway seeds, bay leaf and Lo-Salt, and stir well to combine. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer on medium. Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork.
- Remove from heat, allow the soup to cool a little before pouring into a food processor or blender to puree. Or a handheld blender works great if you like your soup to have little chunks of potatoes and cabbage, like I do.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle bacon, shredded cheese, and thinly sliced cabbage and green onions on top of each bowl.
Notes: *I used W Brand uncured dry-rubbed bacon made from pork raised without antibiotics, available at Trader Joe’s - it has 40% less fat and less sodium than mainstream brands, and better flavor. *Lo-Salt is reduced sodium salt alternative that has 66% less sodium than regular salts. Regular salt may be used if desired. This soup can be prepared in a slow cooker. Cook time is dependent on your particular slow cooker.