12 March 2013

Dreaming of the Emerald Isle with Leek, Potato and Pea Soup with Old-Fashioned "Shamrock" Potato Rolls

Leek, Potato and Pea Soup with
 Old-Fashioned Cloverleaf Potato Rolls
Éirinn go Brách! March 17th is when the rest of the world takes notice and we all become Irish for a day. We start wearing as many colours of green as the Irish hills and dales, drinking green beer and Guinness at our favourite local pubs and singing renditions of Danny Boy in our best voices. L'il Burnt Toast is named after the Emerald Isle so it holds special meaning for us, even if we don't have an Irish bone in our bodies. As with every celebration we always celebrate with food.

Ireland may be known as the land of the Blarney Stone, leprechauns and St. Patricks Day but Ireland is also justly famous for its seafood, excellent lamb, beef and pork and perhaps a glass of Guinness or malt whiskey or two. Farm fresh spring lamb flavoured with fresh rosemary, smoked Irish salmon served with Connemara Peated Single Malt Whiskey, and black pudding would exercise your taste buds as you imagine taking in the sights and sounds of the Emerald Isle along one of Ireland’s many tasty food trails. Who hasn't longed for a hearty Irish Stew!!


" May you live as long as you want, 
And never want as long as you live."

Ireland is equally famous for "the potato" with dishes like Colcannon and Champ. When you think of Irish food you will be pleased to know that Irish food has come a long way since the days of the potato famine, and these days Irish cuisine does not have to be what we consider to be traditional Irish fare like corned beef and cabbage.

"May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you."

This year I served up a take on an Irish potato soup with herbaceous tones of dill and the lively colour of fresh peas. This is a quick and easy soup that's packed full of flavour. Leeks are simmered with peas, pureed and then served with a dollop of soured cream. To accompany this I prepared wholewheat "cloverleaf" potato rolls. Mashed potatoes not only make your rolls tender but give yeast breads extra moistness and a subtle, rich, creamy flavour. My mother used to make extra mashed potatoes so she would have them on hand to make rolls...and "tattie" scones. Make sure to use a thermometer to check the temperature of the liquid during the preparation process. If the liquid is too hot, the yeast will be killed. If it's too cool, the action of the yeast will slow it down. If you prefer a shiny top, brush the rolls lightly with butter or an egg wash just before baking.

"May you live to be a hundred years
With one extra year to repent" 

Celebrate by giving the little leprechauns in your life a special pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with a tasty dish or two? Have tea with scones and a fine word or two from a poem by Yeats or the lyric prose of Joyce. Top off your dinner with a warming Irish whiskey or better yet a long draught of humble brew Guinness . St. Patrick’s Day is a fun celebration of Irish heritage. You will find some suggestions below from other years and other celebrations. It's easy being green for "St. Paddy's Day."

**Old-Fashioned Cloverleaf Potato Rolls**

1¼ milk
½ cup butter
½ cup mashed potatoes
4¾ to 5 cups white or whole wheat bread or All Purpose Flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2¼ teaspoon quick-rise instant yeast (1 envelope/¼ oz/8 g/11 mL)
1½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
Melted butter, optional

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) during second rising. Grease two 12-cup muffin pans.

Heat milk, butter and mashed potatoes in a saucepan over medium heat until mixture is hot (125°F/50°C) and butter is melted. Note: Heating the mixture to melt the butter will result in a higher temperature so you will need to allow the mixture to cool down to the correct temperature.

Combine 3 cups (750 mL) of the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Stir in milk mixture and egg. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until blended. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead dough for 10 minutes, adding enough flour to make the dough smooth and elastic. Cover an let rest for 20 minutes. (I used whole wheat dough and needed only 4 cups of flour to produce a nice soft dough/results may vary with brand of flour)

Shaping: Divide dough into eight portions. Cut each portion into nine pieces to make 72 pieces total. Shape each piece into a ball. Place 3 balls in the bottom of each prepared muffin cup.

Repeat, using all the balls to fill the 24 cups. Cover with a tea towel and let stand in a warm place (75 to 85°/24-29°C) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Brush with melted butter, if using.

Bake on center rack of oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans immediately. Cool for 10 minutes on rack.


Try other shapes, such as snails, spirals, crescents and small balls but remember to keep them all about the same size to ensure that the dough rises and bakes uniformly.

**Leek, Potato and Pea Soup**

4 large leeks, about 3cm diameter, white parts only
1/3 cup butter
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 cups water
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 cup frozen petits pois or fresh baby peas
2 tablespoons dill, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
6 tablespoons sour cream or yogurt

Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, then cut again lengthwise. Now cut the leeks into small chunks. Place in a large bowl and rinse in cold water to clean. Strain through a sieve.

In a medium size heavy bottom cooking pot, melt butter on low heat. Add chopped leeks and cook for 10 minutes until slightly softened. Add stock, water, chicken stock cubes, potatoes and bring to the boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add peas, dill, salt, white pepper and cook for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender soft.

Puree soup with a hand blender or puree in a food processor or hand blender, then return to the cooking pot and reheat if necessary. Adjust seasonings to taste. When serving, add 1 dollop of sour cream or yogurt or swirl into the soup in each bowl served.

Try these other choices from the last 6 years......

Colcannon Soup with Irish Soda Bread
Braised Lamb Shanks with Garlic, Rosemary and Cannellini Beans
Panko Crusted Halibut with Colcannon and Roasted Tomatoes
Whiskey Chicken with Colcannon
Shepherds Pie with Ulster Champ Topping
Colcannon Cakes with Pancetta and Stilton
Guinness Marinated Steak with Colcannon Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes
Potato Farly and Boxty for an Ulster Fry-Up

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. A delicious soup! Perfect with those wonderful rolls.



  2. Love the two recipes, but sweet pea soup is my weakens

  3. Gorgeous! I love it!

  4. Soup and rolls..
    Who could ask for anything more?:)(Do you remember that tune?:) )

    1. I got music, I got rhythm, who could ask for anything more...Ella Fitzgerald or perhaps the Toyota commercial:D

  5. What a brilliant post! I love the way peas brighten up everything and what an excellent idea to add them to this classic. Love the rolls too!

  6. Aren't we all Irish for the day?

  7. What a great meal for St. Patty's day. I'm always in the mood for pea soup and yours looks particularily delicious.

  8. Your soup sounds so comforting. It's suppose to almost be spring but its freezing out. This soup would be welcome right now and your rolls as well.

    If lemon is your chocolate please check out my Meyer lemon tart with a layer of chocolate.

  9. Hi Val! You recent comment on my latest post made me wonder why I hadn't seen your new posts for quite a while. I thought perhaps you were on vacation as I had been recently. Then, I stopped here and saw you had been posting and I hadn't received any updated emails! I subscribe to your email feed and haven't received a new post in quite a while. I tried to resubscribe but was given a notice that I already subscribe when I tried. In any event, I'm going to add you to my blog list to I don't miss any more posts :)

    Love the soup and rolls - a perfect St. Patty's meal!

    1. Apparently I have been downloading posts in Word and then transferring them to my blog. This affects the site feed. I am working on fixing any subsequent posts. Another problem is that the feed has a maximum capacity of 500 posts. It would depend on how long someone has been following.

  10. St. Patrick's day food is the perfect comfort food! I need those rolls in my life!

  11. Love all of these ideas, VAl! But those cloverleaf potato rolls are calling my name. I think I am definitely going to have to bring a pan of those to the St. Patty's Day party I am attending. So festive and fun. Thanks!

  12. You have a lovely blog! Your soup is a perfect way to celebrate St. Patty's day ;-)

  13. Loving how much more healthier your potato soup is than mine. The addition of the green with the peas sing and those rolls - you make me ashamed. I buy them.

  14. What a beautiful picture Val, gives me hope spring is around the corner. Love the soup with your clover leaf, gorgeous!

  15. Val, I love this soup and the addition of peas to the leeks and potatoes. Homemade rolls along with it make a heavenly meal. Mouthwatering!

  16. You certainly have given us a perfect combination.The soup is lovely and perfect for St. Patrick's Day. I hope you are having a great week, Val. Blessings...Mary

  17. after seeing all these terrific irish dishes lately, i'm convinced we need to celebrate that nation much more frequently. :)

  18. We lived in Ireland for a year when we first crossed the pond.... They didn't celebrate St. Patrick's Day - well, maybe there was a special Mass..... A restaurant we used to eat at often, used to bring a platter with about 6 different kinds of potatoes on it to go with the main course. Love the rolls.

  19. I really really love the addition of the potatoes to pea soup.


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