Sásta: Irish Potato Soup with Kale Pesto

Yesterday, I turned 30. I was not particularly stressed about it nor am I a massive birthday person but I have spent some time lately thinking about where life has brought me in the last decade. It honestly has been wonderful! I have had adventures I could only imagine, received a wonderful education, had dream jobs and met my incredible husband! What more could one ask for……
Well I have had a long held dream, one that began to be a reality when I attended Ballymaloe last year. On my last birthday, I was sitting mid-term exams in the cookery school. This birthday was a bit different. Yesterday I launched Sásta, my new food business based here in Boston. It has been a long time in the making and yesterday’s event at Haley House Bakery Cafe marked a soft launch. The event was a winter soup event where a selection of Boston chef’s showcased their food to raise money for this very worthy cause.

You can find out more about Sásta here. We will be fully launching at farmers markets around Boston in the spring and we are hoping to sell ‘bake-at-home’ Irish bread mixes at specialty food stores around Boston too. Keep an eye out for us around Boston, we would love the support and even a chat!

At the Souper Bowl, I served potato and thyme soup with kale pesto and Irish soda breadcrumbs. I wanted to use some of my baked goods while reflecting how beautiful simple food can be. Joined by my Ballymaloe roomie Sovereign Foodie a couple of days prior to the event, we made 40 liters of chicken stock and transformed that into a creamy, rich potato and thyme soup. The reaction to the soup was fantastic and people were so gracious and intrigued by Sásta. I am hoping to build on the support and bring authentic modern Irish food to Boston.

Sásta Potato and thyme Soup

Serves 4-6

  • 50g butter
  • 600g potatoes, peels and cut into small chunks
  • 150g onion, chopped
  • 1 litre chicken stock – the better the stock, the better your soup will be!
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme
  • 100ml cream or milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt the butter over a medium heat in a saucepan and allow to foam.
  2. Add the onions and potatoes, stir until completely coated in the butter then reduce the heat. Cover with some parchment paper to prevent the moisture from escaping and clamp on a lid.
  3. Allow the vegetables to soften in the butter for 10 mins. You want them to soften but not brown
  4. Add stock to the mixture and stir in the chopped thyme. Allow to cook for a further 10 mins until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Puree using an immersion blender, season and adjust.
  6. Right before serving, swirl in the cream and adjust the seasoning to your taste. drizzle with the kale pesto (see recipe) and serve.
Kale Pesto:

  • 300g kale, leaves picked into smaller pieces and woody stems removed.
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 40g grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 150-200ml good olive oil
  1. This pesto is super simple – put everything into your blender and blitz until you have a smooth paste.
  2. Check the consistency, kale is much more dense than basil so it may need to be thinned out with extra olive oil.
  3. I like to add the extra oil to obtain a drizzling consistency. dd little drops or swirls into the soup to your taste and enjoy!


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