Tuesday 19 March 2013

Potato, cabbage and facon soup for St Patrick's Day

I have been clearing out some old foodie magazines.  A pile of choice recipes have been ripped from their pages and sit by my computer.  One such recipe grabbed my attention as perfect for St Patrick's Day.   The Potato and Cabbage Soup in the BBC Australian Good Food Magazine recipe seems to be based on this one.  I veganised it by substituting my favourite tofu bacon for the piggy bacon.  It was lovely, though it looks so so different to the photo.

You may notice in the above photo that my potato are beginning to grow eyes.  They needed to be used.  The cabbage is of the drum variety, as recommended by the Australian recipe, rather than the greener Savoy recommended by the British recipe.  Drum cabbage is quite easy to buy in quarters here.  In the background, Sylvia and E are making button bracelets!  My kitchen is like that.

The soup took me far longer than the recipe suggested, as so often happens with my cooking.  In this instance, I ended up serving E and myself dinner after Sylvia had gone to bed so we could enjoy it rather than gulping it down so we could put her to bed at a reasonable hour.  The pureed potato made a creamy base for the soft cabbage and chewy tofu bacon.  A soup with lots of interesting texture and plenty of flavour.

I am sending this to Deb for Souper Sundays.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: WHB Cauliflower Risotto and how to avoid dinner
Two years ago:  Artichoke muffins for the zoo
Three years ago: Green salads for Paddy’s Day
Four years ago: WTSIM… Pineapple and Banana Chutney
Five years ago: MM Vegetable nut crumble

Potato, cabbage and facon soup
Adapted from BBC Australian Good Food Magazine, August 2008
serves 5-6

25g butter (or margarine)
2 glugs of olive oil, divided
2 onions, sliced
1 carrot
1 celery stick
1 kg potatoes
3 garlic cloves 
6 cups water
2 tbsp tofu bacon marinade (or use liquid smoke or smoked paprika), thinly sliced
1 tsp stock powder
1 tsp salt
150 to 200g tofu bacon
a quarter medium cabbage (about 200g/8oz), finely sliced

Heat butter and a glug of olive oil in a stockpot.  Add the onions and fry for a few minutes.  While the onions are frying, prepare and roughly chop the carrot, celery, potato and garlic.  When all the vegetables are in the pot, cook over medium heat about 5 minutes.

Add water, marinade, stock powder and salt to the pot.  (It is quite salty at this stage but the cabbage absorbs some salt later.)  Simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.  While the vegetables are cooking, fry tofu bacon (facon) in a glug of olive oil on a non-stick frypan until browned.  Remove about 2/3 and then continue frying remaining facon until crispy and slightly charred.  Drain both batches of facon on kitchen towel and keep separate.

Puree the potato mixture with a hand held blender.  Add cabbage and the larger batch of facon.  Simmer for about 30 minutes or until cabbage is cooked.  Check and adjust seasoning (it benefits from lots of black pepper).  Serve with remaining facon sprinkled on top.

On the Stereo:
Setlist: The Frames


  1. It always takes me longer to make recipes than they say it should...I blame myself. I think I just get distracted too easily!

    The soup sounds delicious though and absolutely perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

    1. Thanks joanne - I usually blame me or my kitchen but this recipe just took longer to cook that seemed right - maybe I didn't simmer rapidly enough or I wanted the cabbage softer than was intended in the recipe?

  2. LOL - I wandered what facon was until I read your post. The soup looks good - perfect for St Patricks Day.

    1. Thanks CAkelaw - I love saying facon but I know not everyone knows it is fake bacon so I am glad you worked it out from my post :-)

  3. I love the sound of this soup especially with the facon topping. As soon as the Melbourne temperature dropped, I immediately started craving soup and had to make a batch. I'm not really looking forward to the cooler months but I will enjoy making loads of soup to get me through. I'll keep this recipe in mind for when I have plenty of potatoes and cabbage handy!

    1. Thanks Mel - I've been having a great time of soups and bakes this week - it is one of the joys of winter - am sure you would enjoy the facon topping

  4. I love potato in soup, it gives the dish such a warm comforting feeling. I am almost looking forward to winter, with a few yummy soup recipes under my belt hopefully I will be cosy and warm :)

    1. Thanks Julie - nothing like yummy soup recipes to make me enjoy winter. Even today when it was high 20s I was able to put on the oven in the evening - love that about the cooler months!

  5. Hehe I bet your kitchen is full of activity much of the time especially with active little Sylvia around! :D I often forget about the potatoes because I put them away in a dark place and they often grow eyes. If only the eyes would glow in the dark to alert me :P

    1. Thanks Lorraine - I would love glow in the dark eyes on potatoes - a bit spooky but so much fun!

  6. This looks great - much more appealing to me than standard potato soups. I like the bracelet making in the background too - a nice sort of kitchen I think!

    1. Thanks Kari - I get a bit bored by lots of potato soups and I love that this is creamy without any dairy - as for E making bracelets it is homely but also means that Sylvia is not distracting me from making dinner :-)

  7. This looks so creamy and good and of course you can't argue with a pile of tofu bacon on top. ;-) Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays.


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