My paternal grandfather was born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1890. Not only would a lot of dinners that I cook seem totally bizarre to him but there is no way my grandmother could have found the ingredients with which to make them! Plus I am sure that he would never have helped out with the cooking and clean-up like John does. But today’s dinner might have been something they would have eaten (but there would have been meat involved.)
Since I am at least partly Irish on my mother’s side, my sisters and I usually make something Irish-y for St. Patrick’s Day. We discussed our menus on our weekly Zoom call so I know that they are both making corned beef and cabbage with soda bread. In fact, my older sister is even corning her own beef! Since we rarely eat red meat I wanted to come up with a vegetarian/vegan take on the traditional fare.
I found the recipe for cabbage, leeks, and potatoes on the NYTimes website which is unfortunately behind a paywall. It seemed fairly easy and there were plenty of helpful comments. For 4 servings you need a medium sized cabbage that you shred. You are supposed to sauté it in a bunch of butter until it is brown around the edges which would have taken forever. It’s a lot of shredded cabbage! Following a suggestion I put the cabbage on two sheet pans, sprayed it with olive oil spray, and roasted it at 400F until it was brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Put the cabbage in a soup pot.
Then you add the 3 thinly sliced leeks, a little oil, and a couple of minced garlic cloves. And salt, this soup need quite a bit of salt, so just add it until you find your perfect salt level. Once the leeks are soft, you add two medium, diced russet potatoes and simmer in 2 cups of water or stock for 45-50 minutes. I needed to add additional liquid., at least 1 1/2 cups. The potatoes are supposed to dissolve thickening the soup. I had to help mine along with a potato masher.
We considered putting carrots in but I was afraid it might make it too sweet. Next time I will add them. We finished our soup with a drizzle of good olive oil and optional parmesan cheese.
Our daughter made king Arthur’s Limerick soda bread. It was delish! A little sweet from the raisins and sultanas and savory from the caraway seeds.
From a dininglite healthy eating point of view, we made a vegan soup substituting a spray of olive oil and maybe two teaspoons of EVOO per person in a soup that originally called for 6 tablespoons of butter. I think I’ll eat another slice of soda bread 😁! (Soda bread is not vegan as it contains buttermilk and an egg.)