St. Patrick's Day Colcannon Soup

Go green for the holiday with this recipe for potato, cabbage and kale soup.
Colcannon Soup

Colcannon Soup

Colcannon soup uses simple ingredients found in a classic Irish recipe.

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp

Colcannon soup uses simple ingredients found in a classic Irish recipe.

Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?

This traditional folk song celebrates a dish that has been part of Irish cuisine for hundreds of years. From the Gaelic Cál Ceannann, meaning “white-headed cabbage,” colcannon combines mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale, onions and cream, the simple cold weather dish uses inexpensive ingredients commonly found in the Irish pantry. At one time, trinkets were sometimes hidden inside the savory dish on special occasions to foresee the future - A diner discovering a gold ring would soon be married, a coin predicted wealth and a thimble or button suggested there would be no marriage in the coming year.

Colcannon was once most associated with Halloween, but is now commonly served as part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around the world. If you’re looking for something tasty for your holiday dinner table, Colcannon soup may be the pot o’ green you’re looking for. 

Colcannon soup uses the same ingredients found in the classic Irish dish, but with a smooth and silky texture and a glorious green hue perfect for the occasion. Although its ingredients are common, the results are uncommonly good and this flavorful soup may be used as festive side dish or served with a crusty bread as a meal fit for  St. Patrick himself.

And what about that pickled cream mentioned in the song? While it may be interpreted as buttermilk or sour cream, a rich and tangy crème fraiche is perfect here. To make your own, combine a cup of heavy cream with two tablespoons of buttermilk and allow to sit overnight. 

Colcannon Soup

  • 2 slices bacon
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 cups cabbage chopped
  • 3 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1.5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup crème fraiche (plus more for garnish)

In a large, heavy, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp and fat has rendered.

Remove bacon from pot and place on a paper towel to drain.

Cook onions in pot, stirring and scraping to deglaze pot until onions are soft.

Add cabbage, kale, salt and pepper  to pot and stir to coat and wilt.

Add potatoes and chicken stock to pot and bring to boil.

Reduce heat to simmer until potatoes are fully cooked and tender (20-30 minutes).

Using a stick blender or working in batches in a countertop blender. puree soup until smooth.

Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in crème fraiche and bacon.

Ladle into bowls and drizzle with additional crème fraiche to garnish.

Next Up

Freezing Cabbage

Scratch store-bought cabbage off your grocery list—and fill your freezer with homegrown cabbage instead.

How to Can Spaghetti Sauce

Learn how to can homemade spaghetti sauce that will allow you to savor ripe summer tomatoes all year long.

How to Can Tomatoes

Canning tomatoes is a great, easy way to preserve the season's harvest so you'll have fresh tomatoes all year long. Learn how to can tomatoes with these simple steps for the water bath canning method.

Canning Peppers DIY

It's easy to pack a pint of pickled peppers.

Garden-Fresh Salsa Fresca Recipe

This salsa recipe takes little effort and there’s no better way to bring the fresh flavors of the garden together with such versatility.

Grow One-Pot Salsa

All you need is one container to grow the ingredients for a delicious roasted salsa.

This Mushroom Soup Recipe Offers More

Foraged fungi are a great way to start this super recipe.

Succotash Salad Recipe

Fill a big bowl with the fresh, bright flavors of summer.

Try This Savory Vegetable Soup Recipe for a Healthy Meal

With its mix of great flavor, vegetables and legumes, this hearty and healthy clean soup is satisfying and easy go-to comfort food with plenty of iron and protein too.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.


Down Home Fab

1pm | 12c

House Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

House Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

House Hunters

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

8:30pm | 7:30c

House Hunters

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

House Hunters

12am | 11c

House Hunters

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

1:30am | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.