Irish Potato Soup with Bacon and Cabbage

Irish potato soup in a white bowl topped with bacon, cabbage and cheddar cheese.

5 from 3 reviews

A creamy and comforting Irish Potato Soup recipe with cabbage gets rich flavor from bacon, cheddar and Guinness.


  • 2 slices of bacon (turkey bacon a healthy substitute for regular if you like)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 1/2 cups cabbage, 3 cups coarsely chopped and remainder sliced super thin for topping
  • 4 medium red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped coarsely
  • 6 sage leaves, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Guinness or other dark beer of choice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup or so shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Cook the bacon until it’s nice and crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate with a paper towel on it, set aside to cool. Drain most of the bacon fat from the pan but leave a bit for flavor. When the bacon has cooled, crumble it up into small bits to serve on the soup later.
  2. Return the pan to the burner on medium heat, add the other tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, cook for about 5 minutes, until it begins to soften.
  3. Stir in the carrots, followed by the cabbage and garlic.
  4. After the cabbage and garlic have had a few minutes to soften, add the potatoes and sage. Add a bit of salt at this point, too.
  5. Add the liquids: vegetable broth, water, and Guinness. Add the bay leaf and fennel seed at this time, too. Stir well to combine. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer on medium. Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.
  6. Remove the soup from the heat. Discard the bay leaf,  then puree the soup with a handheld blender, or transfer to puree in a food processor. I went for a consistency that still had some nice chunks of potato and other veggies, but you could go for a smoother puree if you prefer.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle bacon, cheddar and a bit of the shredded cabbage on top of each bowl to for a nice presentation. Enjoy with a glass of Guinness!


  • Turkey bacon can be used in place of typical pork bacon if you want to lighten things up.
  • Cook the bacon separately if someone at the table doesn’t eat bacon. You can serve the crumbed bacon bits over the soup of those who want it.

Keywords: Irish cabbage soup, cabbage and bacon soup, Irish potato cabbage soup

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