Sunday, March 13, 2011

Book Eighteen: Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread: A Country Inn Cookbook by Crescent Dragonwagon

Recipe: Colcannon Soup

You may recall a previous post I did by this same author. I did not even know I had another book by her! This reminds me of a while back, I ordered a cookbook and as usual was quite excited when it arrived. I sat down to leaf through the book and I noticed the recipes sounded awfully familiar. As you've probably guessed, I ordered a book that I already owned. That alone should have told me I have too many books. I admit I have an addiction when it comes to cookbooks. I just cannot resist. To this day, I am still adding to my collection.

It's to be a rainy evening and so I decided on soup for tonight's meal. I was going to go with a trusty lentil soup, but thought I really need to venture out more. Part of the fun of cooking through all these books is to tryout new recipes. The potato and kale soup sounded really good to me. As I'm taking pictures of the ingredients I noticed she does not have any herbs or spices other than salt and pepper. So now I am having doubts about this one. I'll give it a shot; sometimes the best recipes are the simplest.
(Edit: I did a search on Colcannon Soup (which I have never even heard of) and it is apparently an Irish soup traditionally made with potatoes and cabbage or kale. I should be making this Thursday for St. Pat's Day!! Now I understand the blandness of this soup: She leaves out the bacon or pancetta that the other recipes call for ~ Crescent Dragonwagon is a vegetarian....though she gives the choice of chicken or vegetable stock)

I find odd that she instructs you to spray the soup pot with Pam and then bring to a boil the broth. Why would you need to oil the pot in the first place? Her other recipes also call for spraying the pot/pan with Pam and then add your oil/butter. Paid endorsement???

Well the soup wasn't bad. I did add lots of pepper and some nutmeg at the end. This may be one that tastes better the next day after it has a chance to meld. It certainly would benefit from, and be quite good with the addition of pancetta or bacon. I chose not to purée all the potatoes for I liked the idea of having chunks of potato in my soup. For a healthier version I'm sure you could omit the cream and milk mixture, for the soup would have a creaminess of its own from the puréed potatoes.

I served this with some leftover french bread. After slicing I brushed it with some olive oil and seasoned it with salt and pepper and toasted it in the oven until crisp. Before serving I rubbed each piece with a clove of garlic.

Success meter (1-3):2

Colcannon Soup
Serves 4 as an entrée

Pam cooking spray
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 to 5 medium all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 Tbl. butter or mild vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. greens, any combination of turnip, mustard, kale, collard, spinach, beet, radish tops, poke sallet, dock, chard, watercress, or any other wild or cultivated greens, all washed very well, thinly ribboned and coarsely chopped
1 cup milk
¼ to ½ cup heavy (whipping) cream or evaporated skim milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.   Spray a heavy soup pot with Pam, and in it bring the stock to a boil. Drop in the potatoes, turn down the heat, and let simmer 30 minutes.
2.   Meanwhile, spray a 10-inch skillet with Pam and in it melt the butter or heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Lower the heat slightly, add the greens, and stir until they start to wilt, about 3 minutes. Cover the skillet and let the greens steam until fully wilted, 3 to 10 minutes.
3.   When the potatoes are done, strain them from the stock, reserving both the stock and potatoes. Return the stock to the soup pot. Place the potatoes in a food processor with the milk and cream or evaporated milk and buzz until smooth. Combine this mixture with the stock in the pot, and stir in the sautéed greens and onion. Taste for seasoning. Reheat. Serve immediately.

Note: Instead of puréeing the potatoes in the processor (which does give them a thick, slightly gluey consistency), you may mash a few of them against the side of the pot, and add the cream directly to the soup. (I would do this if you do not have an immersion blender)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting! Would love to hear from you - feel free to comment.