Irish Potato & Cabbage Soup with Soda Bread
This tender loaf is best eaten warm from the oven with a bowl of stick-to-your ribs Irish soup. Leftovers can be grilled in a drizzle of olive oil or your favorite buttery spread. I do the American Mic-Mac/Prussian thing and add caraway and currants -or gasp!- even raisins to my soda bread. But if this offends your Irish soda bread sensibility, Darlin', by all means omit. Recipes aren't written in stone, after all. And bread should make you happy.
Traditional Irish recipes include smoky bacon (and often, cream) in a soup like this. We decided to slice up some spicy buffalo sausage and toss in a gluten-free lager instead. But if you're a bacon and cream lover, by all means- add some uncured apple-smoked bacon and organic moo-cow cream.
Irish Potato & Cabbage Soup with Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread Ingredients
1 cup sorghum flour, certified GF oat flour, or white rice flour
1/2 cup sweet sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca or potato starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup organic light brown sugar
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
3/4 up to 1 cup buttermilk or plain non-dairy milk with 1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 large free-range organic eggs- or Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed for 2 eggs
4 tablespoons light olive oil
1 tablespoon honey, raw organic agave, or molasses
1 to 3 teaspoons caraway seeds, to taste
2/3 cup currants or raisins- if you like
Rusitc Irish Potatoes & Cabbage Soup Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1-pound head of green cabbage, cored and sliced thin
4 medium gold or white potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
4 sausages or brats (we used spicy buffalo sausage)
4 cups light gluten-free broth
1 cup of gluten-free lager or ale (optional)
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds- crush them if you like
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 pinch raw sugar
Irish Soda Bread Instructions
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly oil an 8-inch round cake pan and dust it with cornmeal.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl- start with 3/4 cup liquid at first.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Start with 3/4 cup buttermilk/non-dairy milk and slowly pour the wet into the dry ingredients, gently mixing as you go [I use a soft silicone or rubber spatula to do this]. If you need a little more rice milk to moisten the dough, add a tablespoon at a time and stir in.
When the dough is evenly moist, add the caraway and raisins. Stir only briefly to mix them in.
Scrape and spoon out the dough into the prepared cake pan; and using moist or rice-floured palms, flatten and shape the dough into a rounded loaf. Sprinkle with a very light dusting of cornmeal or rice flour.
Using a dry sharp knife, slice a criss-cross into the dough (not too deep!) to discourage the mischievous fairies from messing with your humble loaf of bread.
Place the pan into the center of a preheated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the loaf is golden and crusty and sounds hollow when thumped. Insert a wooden toothpick into the center to test for doneness.
Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes; and turn the loaf out of the pan to cool to room temperature - although it's best warm and tender from the oven, I think, even if it tends to crumble a bit. Serves 8.
Yields one loaf of bread.
Rustic Irish Potatoes & Cabbage Soup Instructions
Put on a Van Morrison CD.
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add the onion; stir for five minutes or so. Add the garlic and cabbage and stir together; cook until the cabbage has wilted. Add the potatoes, carrots and sausages. Stir. Season with caraway, parsley, sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
Pour in the broth and gluten-free beer; stir together. Cover and bring to a high simmer; then lower the heat a bit and simmer until the vegetables are fork tender- about 45 minutes.
At this point I like to add a touch of cider vinegar and a pinch of raw sugar to liven things up. As always, taste the soup and season to keep your own palate happy.
Serve piping hot with a warm loaf of Irish Soda Bread (recipe follows).
Soda Bread Notes:
Soda breads are definitely best eaten the day they are baked.
Slice and freeze leftovers for grilling, or use leftovers to make a breakfast bread pudding.
Try my Gypsy Soda Bread with cornmeal for a change of pace.
Or try my new egg-free dairy-free Irish Soda Bread recipe with millet. I love it.