Kale Soup and Irish Brown Bread with Toasted Walnuts

I woke up early this morning to start my brown bread and kale soup before the day got away from me, as it often does for all of us.  First off I yanked out several bunches of kale from the vegetable garden and submerged them in a sink full of cold water in the hopes that a few bugs might abandon ship before the leaves were chopped up for soup.  Meanwhile I started chopping the obligatory soup onion, to sizzle up in the hot melted butter with my chopped potatoes.  Things moved along nicely with my goal to finish all my cooking before 9am so I could photograph my food, play with my vacation photos and get in some exercise before noon.  I even made focaccia dough for tomorrow, a very productive morning in the kitchen.  I like to cook everyday, preferably beginning in the morning, whenever possible.  This morning while chopping my onions I thought about the first ‘real job’ I had in college, not counting jobs like babysitting.  My first real job, with an actual paycheck, was in a small hamburger joint in Isla Vista, California. Between taking orders, making milkshakes and filling cups of soda, I peeled and sliced onions for the burgers.  Now I’m really going to date myself, my starting pay was $1.35 an hour.  After 3 months my pay went up to $1.65.  Which I guess was big bucks compared to 50 cents to a dollar an hour for the babysitting I did in high school!  I also remember we made a killer pineapple milkshake and had several loyal customers who came in for the shake.  This very green and Irish looking Kale Soup is pretty good too, although I admit it’s not a pineapple milkshake.  I found recipes which I adapted in Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen for the Kale Soup and the Brown Bread.  I highly recommend the King Arthurs Flour Irish Style Whole Meal Flour for the brown bread.  The idea to use toasted walnuts in the Brown Bread came from a lovely restaurant in Killarney, where we stayed and played golf.  The only day the sun came out on the golf course for us during our trip to Scotland and Ireland was at Dooks Golf Course in Kerry.  I will always be thankful for the warmth of the sun and the good time we shared that day.  I’m also thankful that I only had to chop one onion for the soup this morning because it’s really not one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen.

Ingredients and Directions for Kale Soup
serves 6

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 quart chicken stock
6 cups baby kale, lightly packed, chopped with thick stems removed
6 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream for garnish
Wee baby kale leaves for garnish

Melt the butter in a heavy soup pan, I used my dutch oven.  Add the onions and potatoes to the hot foamy butter, sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste.  Stir and cook for several minutes, add the stock and gently simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Add the baby kale and cook with the lid off to retain the pretty green color, for about 2-3 minutes or until tender.  Ladle the soup into a blender and pulverize.  Don’t forget to take the middle piece off the lid and cover with a towel when you start the blender.  The soup becomes a bright green after a few minutes.  At the point I strained my soup because I didn’t remove all the stems.  The baby kale is tender but the stems are still woody and need to be removed from the soup.  Adjust the seasoning and ladle into bowls, garnish with the creme fraiche and baby kale leaves.

Snap Shots from Ireland


Brown Bread with Toasted Walnuts

Ingredients and Directions for Brown Bread with Toasted Walnuts
Makes 1 loaf

3 & 1/2 cups Irish style whole meal flour from King Arthurs Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon molasses
1 & 2/3 cup warm water
2 teaspoons Rapid Rise yeast
1 cup lightly toasted walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425F
Grease a 5×8″ loaf pan

Mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl.  In a small bowl mix the molasses with 1/2 cup of the warm water and sprinkle on the yeast.  Let stand for a few minutes until foamy.  Add the rest of the warm water to the yeast mixture and pour it all in the flour/salt mixture, stir until combined.  Stir in the walnuts.  The mixture will be too wet to knead.  Place the dough directly into the prepared loaf pan.  Cover the loaf pan with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm draft free place.  Let the dough rise for about 35 minutes, until it almost comes to the top of the pan.  Place the pan in the oven, bake for 20 minutes, reduce the oven to 375F and continue to bake for about 25 minutes.  The bread should be nicely browned and hollow sounding  when tapped.  Remove the bread from the oven, slide the loaf out of the pan and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes to crisp the exterior.  If you prefer a softer crust skip this last step.  Don’t forget to generously spread your sliced brown bread with Kerrygold butter before enjoying.


  1. Patty, Such gorgeous photos of your vacation. And that soup looks simply wonderful with the gorgeous brown bread! I wish I could say my day was as productive as yours but, it’s been raining for days so, I took the day off!

  2. Wow, you certainly did have a productive morning in the kitchen! Your soup sounds delicious (I'm not very fond of chopping onions, either!) and I know the bread wouldn't last very long at my house. Great photos of your trip, too!

  3. Oh Patty, this is one gorgeous post! I love love love all you photos. Great recipes and looks like a wonderful trip! Thank you for sharing and have a great night!

  4. The freshness of the kale should be so good. I love picking my own vegetables too but I can't do it anymore. Too many things to do. Thank you for sharing your travel photos. They're lovely!

  5. Beautiful color soup and so healthy too. I have to laugh when I thought of your first job, I too made very little money my first job. I got a job in a submarine sandwich shop at 15 years old since I was under age my boss said it was fair that I only get paid $2.35 an hour until I turned 16 which was still 6 months away. At 16 I got paid minimum wage which was $3.35 at the time :).I had to cut 5 gallon buckets of onions for the subs and hated it since I no longer had make up on after that was done. Fun memories. Your trip looks really nice some beautiful photos you took of your day of no rain.

  6. Wow you get all that done before noon? I need to be more like you. Peeling onions isn't one of my favorite things either. But to make a delicious soup like that I wouldn't complain. The bread looks incredible too. I love it when breads have nuts or seeds.

    Thanks for sharing your trip photos. It is so beautiful, and green, there:)

  7. Love the color of the soup and that bread is calling my name! Love that your first job was at a hamburger joint – your love of food followed you. The photos of Ireland are beautiful and remind me of my vacation there years ago – note to self – need to return! Have a great day!!!

  8. although the soup looks lovely and fresh.. its too hot out here for soup… but what i'm loving is that brown bread.. the best part.. there's no kneading..am definitely giving it a try!! lovely holiday pics!! :)

  9. What a wholesome, healthy meal to commemorate your trip to Ireland! This looks wonderful, Patty.

  10. Wow Ireland is so beautiful and you look so thin, I don't think you are eating enough and we should go out and eat soon. I must have been raking in the big bucks when I was getting paid a $1 an hour for babysitting. Love the soup and the bread. Is it summer vacation yet, I need a vacation so bad. Love going on your with you though. Hope you are having a good week.

  11. Thanks for sharing some of your trip pictures with us, Patty. I love Ireland–I feel connected to it–I have since my first visit. Naturally, it's where I first fell in love with brown bread and yours looks beautiful–just like your kale soup. Perfect! :)

  12. What a beautiful green color soup! I will try this recipe soon (I don't think I can bake teh bread though heehee). It's easy and healthy just what my family and I need!

    My husband has been to Ireland for business, and I couldn't tag along… wish I could. I heard it's beautiful there. Thank you for sharing the pictures with us. :-)

  13. Patty, I couldn't stop staring at this picture! It's so pretty – love that gorgeous green and your presentation! Soup sounds delish as does your trip! Ireland is amazingly beautiful.

  14. wonderful pictures.. i love the scenary out there.

  15. Wonderful soup and amazing-looking brown bread! I'd love to try both recipes.

    Beautiful snapshots of Ireland also. We have a golf course here in Wisconsin you may have heard of – Whistling Straits that has and Irish Course that looks very similar to the one you played which is on the banks of Lake Michigan. Beautiful place if you're ever in need of an Irish golf fix and don't want to fly to Europe :)

  16. I still have lots of kale – this soup is as green and beautiful as Ireland! Now I have a new kale recipe! Thanks, Patty :)

  17. I wish I had my own garden. Last year I had some herbs in pots on the front porch and the deer came and ate them. Having a garden is out of the question.
    I love the vibrant green soup and the bread sounds so good!
    Lovely photos. can't wait for more!

  18. What a delightful soup this is! I need to grow kale again next year :) And I just love all of these photos, so beautiful!

  19. What a productive morning! I wish every morning could be like yours, and to be rewarded with such delicious lunch :) Love the photos of your trip, I'm so glad you had such a wonderful vacation, Patty.

  20. More gorgeous photos! Your soup and bread look so very good. I am bookmarking these to try. I also prefer to do my cooking and baking in the morning and on the weekends I try to do as much as I can so I don't have to cook so much after work during the week. It just makes life so much easier.

  21. I made it today and it was delicious! My family loved it. :-) Thanks Patty!!

  22. I love finding kale recipes. I made a similar soup with watercress, dandelion and leeks last year for St. Patrick’s Day, but I’m adding kale in next time.


  1. [...] saw my friend Patty’s Kale Soup post on her blog Patty’s Food back in May and I was really excited to try this recipe.  Kale is a green, leafy vegetable that [...]

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