Irish Potato Soup
Enjoy with a chilled glass of Lawer Estates Viognier!
Whether you have Irish ancestry or not, St. Patrick’s Day is a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to share great food, a great wine like our Viognier and to make some new memories. You don’t even have to wear green to enjoy this traditional dish, but it couldn’t hurt.
3 large Russet potatoes, 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, 8 slices of bacon, 1 cup chopped leeks (light part only), 1 cup chopped fennel (bulb only), 4 cups whole milk, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, 1½ cups shredded Dubliner cheese, 1 cup heavy cream (optional), 2 or 3 slices of rye bread, 2 Tbs butter, 4 scallions (white & light green part sliced)
Potatoes: Wash and prick potatoes and bake at 425 for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from oven; cool them on a rack, cut them in half and scoop out flesh and reserve.
Bacon: Fry bacon until crispy, remove from pan and drain on paper towel (reserve fat). Crumble cooled bacon.
Combine: Sauté leeks and fennel in 2 Tbs. bacon fat over low heat until soft but not colored.
Add milk and potatoes and bring to a boil, using a potato masher to break up potato.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth (if using a regular blender, do it in batches and be careful!).
Add one cup of shredded cheese into the soup and stir until melted. Soup should be fairly thick and creamy. Add heavy cream as needed for consistency.
Cut rye bread into cubes and sauté in butter to make crispy croutons.
Serve: Serve in bowls garnished with shredded cheese, scallions, crumbled bacon and croutons.