Potato Leek Soup with Beer Braised Cabbage

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Potatoes, Cabbage and Beer are essential elements of Irish cooking and this lovely soup recipe brings them all together for a tasty bite on a chilly night. Visiting Ireland is always fun for me. I say my last name, Pendergrass, and they respond excitedly, “Oh, you’re Irish.” Yes, I am. And some good Irish food, simple as it is, is one of my favorite cuisines in the world.

Yield: About 10-12 Cups

INGREDIENTS
7 Tbsp Butter, divided
2 Leeks, chopped
3 Large Shallots, finely chopped and divided
3/4 Lb Yukon Gold Potatoes, chopped into small cubes
32 oz. Vegetable Stock
1/2 Head Small Cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 bottle (11.2 oz) Guinness
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 Cup Half & Half
Freshly Ground Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat 4 tablespoons Butter in a large soup pan over medium heat. Add the Leeks and 2 chopped Shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until leeks and shallot are transparent and just starting to brown.
2. Add Potatoes to the pan and heat for 3 minutes to release some starch, stir as needed to keep from sticking. Add the Vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a heavy simmer, cover with a lid and allow to cook for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, adding Salt and Pepper as needed for flavor.
3. While soup is cooking, melt 3 tablespoons Butter in a large skillet. Add 1 chopped Shallot and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add Cabbage, Guinness and Worcestershire and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes until cabbage is cooked through. Keep pan covered with a lid. Stir occasionally and season with Salt and Pepper as needed. Once cabbage is cooked turn off heat and allow cabbage to sit in the beer and steep.
4. Once soup is cooked, add cabbage and all beer sauce and stir to combine. Add Half & Half, and stir over low heat for about 3 minutes to bring flavors together. Add salt and pepper as needed to season and finish.
5. Serve hot with a side of crusty bread and butter. Enjoy!

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