Four years ago (the last time I was in Ireland) I was almost three months pregnant with my oldest daughter. I was sicker than a dog. I could hardly eat a bite and survived most of the trip on cereal and toast. One afternoon, we headed to a local pub for a bite and I had the most amazing veggie soup I’d ever had. I was so thrilled to be able to keep something down and this soup hit the spot. I knew it had leeks and potatoes in it but I couldn’t figure out what else there was (because the person had blended it all together). I came across this recipe from Whole Foods and I must say, it’s better than the original I’ve been pining over for all these years!
Irish Potato Cheddar Soup
3TBS. Unsalted Butter
3 large leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
2 pounds medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 (48 ounce) box Chicken Broth
3 cups 2% milk
1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, thinly sliced into coins
2 cups (1/2 lb) grated Kilaree Cheddar, divided (I used Dubliner but really, anything will work).
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add potatoes, broth, milk, salt and thyme; bring just to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are very tender, 20 to 25 minutes; discard thyme.
Working in batches, carefully purée soup in a blender until smooth (or use a hand blender), and then return to pot. (Note: I am more of the kind that likes having the nice chunks of asparagus and potatoes so I skipped this step). Return to a simmer, add asparagus and cook until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, gently stir in 1 1/2 cups cheddar and ladle into bowls. Garnish with remaining cheddar and serve.
This recipe is AMAZING with some nice hot bread out of the oven.