Sunday, February 28, 2016

Irish Potato Soup with Cheese and Red Ale

It's the fifth Monday of February and that brings an extra Secret Recipe Club reveal.  When there is a five week month, SRC features an extra reveal with a theme.  February's theme is Leprechaun's and Bunnies.

For this special SRC reveal, I was assigned A Day in the Life on the Farm.  A little about Wendy..... "My husband and I were both police officers in the third largest city in our state.  When we retired we moved as far away from the hustle and bustle as we could, landing in a small town of approximately 4000 people and buying a house on 12 acres. I enjoy scuba, travel, reading, games, hiking, entertaining, cooking, quilting and painting."  Stop by Wendy's blog and browse her wonderful collection of recipes and other posts.

I had no trouble choosing my recipe for this week's reveal.  Wendy's post for this soup was a posting for the group Food Fix.  In this group, a blogger chooses a movie and the post includes a review of the movie, along with a related recipe.  The movie Wendy reviewed was The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne.  John Wayne was the favorite actor of my late father and this movie was one I recall him watching frequently.   If that alone wasn't enough to convince me to choose this recipe, the original recipe was written by Crescent Dragonwagon.  Crescent is a food writer and former inn owner in one of my favorite little towns, Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

The wintertime price on the leeks at the grocery store was too rich for my blood, so I omitted them.  Although Kerrygold Cheddar Cheese is amazing, the store brand tasted great to me.  If you like blue cheese, do sprinkle some on top of the soup, it really enhances the flavor.  This hearty and delicious soup, served alongside a salad and crusty bread, makes a great weeknight meal.

Irish Potato Soup with Cheese and Red Ale
adapted from a recipe by Crescent Dragonwood as found on

 Recipe Courtesy of A Day in the Life on the Farm

4 T. butter, divided
1 large spanish onion, chopped
3 leeks, white and light green parts, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
8 med. yukon gold potatoes, coarsely chopped
1 bottle Smithwick's premium Irish Ale
4 c. chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
3 T. flour
4 c. milk (I used 2%)
7 oz. Kerrygold aged Cheddar Cheese, grated
6 slices thick bacon, crisped and crumbled
Blue Cheese (optional)

Melt 2 T. of butter in a stockpot over med heat.  Add onions, celery and leeks and cook for about 8-10 minutes until softened.  Add the potatoes, ale and chicken broth.  Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.

Melt remaining 2 T. of butter in a medium saucepan.  Whisk in flour until smooth. Cook for a few minutes until flour smell is gone, stirring constantly.  Gradually whisk in the milk until hot and thickened.  Add cheese and stir until melted.

Stir cheese mixture into the potato mixture until combined.  Warm over very low heat for 10 minutes not allowing the soup to boil.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with the bacon and blue cheese, if desired.


  1. Sounds like a nice hearty soup for the last month of winter:@)

  2. Yum, definitely perfect for winter. Great pick!

  3. Dang, I just used up all my leeks, or this soup would be making an appearance this week. Come to think of it, I'm heading to the 'big' city at the end of the week and I can pick some up then. Great choice.

  4. I am so glad you enjoyed the soup. I agree that the blue cheese crumbles are a must but my hubby hates blue cheese, hence the optional. Thank you for all your kind words.

  5. Love the soup.... as to the blue cheese crumbles - yes for the hubs, no for me. I'll have extra cheddar!

  6. Potato soups are my favorite, love the sound of this one. But maybe not with the blue cheese. ;)


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