St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow and it’s 75°F here in coastal North Carolina. I only ever seem to cook corned beef in March, but it certainly doesn’t sound too appealing right now. I’m more in the mood to grill! If the weather is cooler where you are, make corned beef and cabbage soup.
I like this recipe because the meat is more of a garnish than the main event plus you get tons of nutritious vegetables and fiber. Corned beef tends to have a lot of fat and sodium, but enjoying it this way means you get the flavor without too much of the “bad” stuff. Use unsalted beef broth or stock if you can find it to further cut back on the sodium in this corned beef and cabbage soup.
Did you know that people in Ireland don’t really eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day? Apparently, they do eat ham with cabbage to celebrate certain holidays. When the Irish started emigrating to the U.S., they either couldn’t find or couldn’t afford the type of meat they usually used in their festive dish and substituted corned beef instead. Americans saw the Irish folks eating corned beef and cabbage and assumed it was a traditional dish to be eaten on St. Patrick’s Day.
Other St. Patrick’s Day Ideas
Do you have any St. Patrick’s Day traditions? If soup isn’t your thing, you might enjoy one of the following:
Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup with Barley
- 3 stalks celery cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
- 3 medium carrots peeled and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion cut into about 6 wedges
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 3 cups unsalted or low-sodium beef stock
- 1/4 medium head of green cabbage sliced (about 4 cups)
- 2 medium gold potatoes e.g. Yukon Gold
- 3/4 cup barley
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 pound corned beef cooked and cut into thin strips
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Shred celery and carrots using the shredding disc of a food processor. Remove from bowl. Switch to the regular blade and chop onion.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot (I used a 5-quart Dutch oven). Add celery, carrots, onions and allspice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened slightly, about 10 minutes.
Add stock, cabbage, potatoes, barley and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until barley is tender, about 30 minutes.
Put soup in serving bowls and garnish with corned beef. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Too many carbs for you? More than half of the carbs are coming from the barley, but it’s also providing more than half of the fiber. If you want to cut back on the carbs, you might want to eliminate the potatoes since they are not contributing nearly as much fiber.