Vermont Cheddar Soup With Irish Scones

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day 2015, ATG is exploring “All Things Irish” for the next couple weeks. Below are a couple recipes for a delicious Irish meal with some beautiful Irish music to cook to!

Cook and bake the following dishes to the tune of the Clancy Brother’s “Patriot’s Game“, a beautiful Irish song! (lyrics below) 

“I Need Vegetables” Salad (to be served with Vermont Cheddar Soup, below)

Take any vegetables your hungry heart desires, slice and dice, and arrange appetizingly on a pretty platter – red peppers, radishes, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, chick peas, carrots, celery, avocado, etc.  Sprinkle with a little lemon or lime juice, drizzle with EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), a tiny bit of kosher salt, generous pepper and fresh basil. Enjoy!

Vegetable Salad recipe

Vermont Cheddar Soup (inspired by Simon Pearce’s* cheddar soup recipe)

½-1 cup of grated carrots
½ cup minced celery (optional)
½ – ¾ stick butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/4 cup flour
4 cups hot chicken stock
3 cups grated extra-sharp Vermont Cheddar Cheese
1 cup milk
¼ cup half-and-half or whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp. fresh thyme (Note: ATG did not have any fresh thyme and so did not use any spice and the soup was still delicious!)

Vermont Cheddar Soup Recipe

In a soup pot, melt butter over low to medium heat, add minced onion and sauté until onions are translucent. Lower heat and add flour a little at a time, stirring constantly and cooking until the “roux” begins to bubble. Add hot chicken stock one cup at a time, whisking until smooth. Add cheddar cheese one cup at a time until all cheese is melted. Add milk and cream, stir in carrots, celery, bay leaf (and thyme if desired) and salt and pepper to taste. Can garnish with fresh parsley, sprinkling of grated carrots or more grated cheese! Serve with “I Need Vegetables” Salad above and “Rory’s Irish Scones” below.

Rory’s Irish Scones (taken from the Simon Pearce* cookbook, A Way of Living)

4 cups King Arthur white flour
½ heaping teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp. salt
½ heaping tsp. sugar
2 cups buttermilk

Irish Scone Recipe

Sift all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add buttermilk. Mix together by hand until thoroughly combined (be careful not to overwork the dough, as this causes toughness). Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and form into a large rectangle about 1 inch thick. Using a rolling pin and extra flour as needed, roll rectangle into a 3/4-inch thickness. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into nine strips about 1 inch wide, then cut each of the strips into six 1-inch squares. Lightly flour a large sheet pan and arrange the dough squares in nine rows of six, just barely touching. Bake in 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes, rotate the tray, and bake for 10 more minutes.

*To note: Simon Pearce is an Irish-American glassblowing and pottery entrepreneur who opened his first glassblowing workshop in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1971. His goal has been “to create products that are beautifully designed, produced with premium quality materials and time-honored techniques and intended for a lifetime of everyday use.” Please visit Simon Pearce’s website for more history and information.

Clancy Brothers – Patriot’s Game lyrics

Come all ye young rebels, and list while I sing, 

For the love of one’s country is a terrible thing. 

It banishes fear with the speed of a flame, 

And it makes us all part of the patriot game.

My name is O’Hanlon, and I’ve just turned sixteen. 

My home is in Monaghan, and where I was weaned 

I learned all my life cruel England’s to blame, 

So now I am part of the patriot game.

This Ireland of ours has too long been half free. 

Six counties lie under John Bull’s tyranny. 

But still De Valera is greatly to blame 

For shirking his part in the Patriot game.

They told me how Connolly was shot in his chair, 

His wounds from the fighting all bloody and bare. 

His fine body twisted, all battered and lame 

They soon made me part of the patriot game.

It’s nearly two years since I wandered away 

With the local battalion of the bold IRA, 

For I read of our heroes, and wanted the same 

To play out my part in the patriot game.

Check out ATG’s other Irish-themed posts about The Fighting IrishThe Luck of the IrishIrish American culture,  traditional Irish musicIrish movies and Irish American novels.

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