Potato and Leek Soup with Kale and Smoked Ham Aisling Larkin
Potato and Leek Soup with Kale and Smoked Ham Aisling Larkin

Potato and Leek Soup with Kale and Smoked Ham

The ultimate modern St. Patricks Day recipe. Cosy, comforting and perfect for these colder days
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Potato and Leek Soup with Kale and Smoked Ham
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes


  • 6 leeks sliced
  • 6 large potatoes cubed
  • Handful of thyme
  • 200 g curly kale or cavolo nero
  • 600 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 350 ml milk or cream
  • 30 ml oil
  • 30 ml butter
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 kg smoked ham fillet cooked, cubed


  • Boil the ham until cooked. Following packet instructions based on weight is the easiest thing to do.
  • Wash, peel and dice the potatoes. Wash and slice the leeks into 2-3cm rounds. use the majority of the stalk for braising and the rest of the darker green for the soup.
  • Boil the kettle and make up the stock.
  • Melt the butter and oil in a saucepan over medium to low heat.
  • Pop in the leeks, coat in the butter and oil.Allow them to absorb the butter, soften and colour a little on one side for about 4 minutes, Very gently turn them over and cook the other side. Pop a lid on or a piece of parchment paper and allow them to cook them and sweat off, until caramelised .
  • Season with a little salt and pepper and add in a few sprigs of thyme if using.
  • Shred the latter green parts of the leek stalk now. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter and oil. Add in the cubes of potatoes and the leeks. Coat them in the oil and butter and allow to soften. Pop on a sheet of parchment and allow them to cook down.
  • Pour in the hot stock and simmer for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked. At this stage remove about 1/3 of the quantity of potato cubes and set them aside.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the milk. Liquidise until smooth and silky, taste and adjust the seasoning. Do this for much longer than you think. I usually do a repeat until I reach about 5 minutes. You can also pass it through a sieve to get it super silky.
  • Fill a pot with boiling water. Shred the dark green leaves of kale or Cavolo Nero. Have a bowl of ice-cold water ready. Plunge the cabbage into the boiling water for about 2 minutes. Remove, drain and plunge into ice-cold water. This will ensure it holds it texture and colour.
  • To Serve: Sit 5 pieces of braised leek in the bottom of the bowl. Dot in 3 pieces of potato. Ladle the soup in on top in warm bowls. Sit the finely chopped kale on top and garnish with the smoked ham and a drizzle of cream.
  • Then serve with some fresh crusty bread on the side or my homemade treacle brown bread.

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