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Irish Potato and Parsley Soup

Potatoes have been a staple part of the Irish diet for hundreds of years, and find their way into all sorts of dishes. Use a variety such as Pentland Dell or King Edward to make this thick and sustaining soup, with green flecks of parsley added for extra flavour.

ingredients

serves 6-8 (as a starter)
2 streaky bacon rashers, rinded and chopped
25 g (1 oz) butter
450 g (1 lb) potatoes, chopped
450 g (1 lb) onions, skinned and roughly chopped
900 ml (1 1/2 pints) chicken stock
300 ml (1/2 pint) fresh milk
salt and pepper
25 g (1 oz) chopped fresh parsley
150 ml (5 fl oz) fresh single cream
croutons, to garnish

method

1. Fry the bacon in a large saucepan for 2- 3 minutes, until the fat just starts to run.

2. Add the butter, potatoes and onions and cook for 10 minutes, until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the stock and milk. Season to taste, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

4. Allow to cool slightly, then puree the soup in a blender or food processor.

5. Return the soup to the pan and stir in the parsley and cream. Reheat gently, then serve hot, garnished with croutons.

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