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Colcannon Soup (Potato Kale Soup)

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This Irish-inspired colcannon soup is easy to make with creamy potatoes, kale and cheddar cheese.

The last time I made colcannon (traditional Irish mashed potatoes with kale), the thought occurred to me while gathering the ingredients that they would also be perfect in a soup!

So…here we are. ♡

I’m pretty sure this isn’t a traditional soup in Ireland, so I make no claims for authenticity here. But the traditional ingredients in colcannon (potatoes, kale, garlic, bay leaves, cream) form a fantastic base for a potato soup. And when simmered with extra leeks in veggie broth, partially blended until thick and creamy, and topped with a vibrant sprinkling of chopped scallions, this simple soup was just as delicious as I had imagined. So cozy and flavorful!

I decided to take a bit of extra inspiration from the Irish and add in a big handful of shredded cheddar make it extra cheesy, but the soup is plenty flavorful without the cheese if you’d like to leave it out. You could also add in some bacon or sausage here for extra protein if you’d like. Or if you prefer cabbage instead of kale for the greens in your colcannon, chopped green or Savoy cabbage would be wonderful in this soup as well.

Let’s make some colcannon soup!

Colcannon Soup Ingredients

Here are a few brief notes about the Irish-inspired colcannon soup ingredients that you will need to make this recipe:

  • Potatoes: Irish colcannon is traditionally made using starchy potatoes, such as Russets, but Yukon Gold potatoes are also great in potato soups. So feel free to choose whichever you prefer!
  • Kale: I love adding lots of kale (either curly or lacinato) to this soup, which adds a vibrant pop of green color and loads of nutrients. But traditional colcannon can also be made with cabbage, so feel free to sub in green or Savoy cabbage instead if you would like.
  • Cheddar cheese: I recommend purchasing a block of good-quality Irish cheddar cheese and grating it by hand so that it will melt smoothly into the soup. I prefer the bolder flavor of extra-sharp cheddar, but you’re welcome to use whatever type of cheddar you love best.
  • Leeks: We’ll add lots of fresh leeks to the soup to provide some mild onion flavor and texture. Here’s a quick tutorial (including a video) for how to cut leeks.
  • Vegetable broth: Vegetable broth will provide the liquid base for this soup. (If you need a recommendation, I love using Trader Joe’s veggie broth.)
  • Heavy cream: I love adding in a generous splash of heavy cream to make the soup nice and creamy, but feel free to use half and half or 2% milk if you prefer to lighten things up.
  • Seasonings: I prefer keeping the seasonings simple here with just bay leaves, garlic, salt and pepper so that the other ingredient flavors can really shine through.
  • Green onions: Finally, I highly recommend adding a generous sprinkling of green onions to each bowl of soup as a topping. They add a delicious pop of fresh onion flavor and a bit of extra crunch for texture.

Recipe Tips

Full instructions for how to make colcannon soup are included in the recipe below, but here are a few extra tips to keep in mind too:

  • Begin with whole kale leaves, if possible. I find it’s easier to purchase an entire bunch of kale (with long, whole leaves) instead of a bag of pre-chopped kale so that you can easily remove the tough stems. That said, kale stems are perfectly edible, so you’re always welcome to include them if you would like.
  • Use caution if you blend the soup using a traditional blender. I find it’s easiest to blend half of the soup with an immersion (hand) blender. But if you would like to use a traditional blender instead, just be sure avoid overfilling the blender and always tent the blender cap open so that the hot steam can safely escape while blending.
  • Grate the cheese by hand. As always when adding cheese to a soup, I recommend purchasing a block of cheese and using a box grater to grate the cheese by hand so that it will smoothly melt into the soup.

Recipe Variations

Here are a few different variations that you’re welcome to try with this colcannon soup recipe:

  • Use cabbage: Use chopped green cabbage or Savoy cabbage in place of the kale.
  • Add a protein: Bacon, Italian sausage or chicken would all be delicious additions to this soup.
  • Add extra veggies: Add any other soup-friendly veggie that would go well with the ingredients here, such as bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, or mushrooms.
  • Add extra herbs: Add additional herbs or seasonings, such as rosemary, chives or thyme.

More Potato Soup Recipes

Looking for more cozy potato soup recipes to try? Here are a few of our favorites:

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Colcannon Soup (Potato Kale Soup)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Ali


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large leeks, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 3 ounces (a medium-sized bunch) fresh kale, stemmed and finely chopped
  • toppings: thinly-sliced scallions and extra shredded cheddar


  1. Sauté. Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and sauté for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  2. Simmer. Add the vegetable broth, potatoes, bay leaves and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the broth reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low (or whatever temperature is needed to maintain a low simmer). Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  3. Blend. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to purée about half of the soup, which will help to make the broth nice and thick.
  4. Add the kale and cheese. Add the cream, cheddar and kale and stir to combine. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes or until the kale has wilted.
  5. Season. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Serve. Serve warm, garnished with lots of scallions (plus extra cheddar and black pepper, if you would like), and enjoy!

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5 comments on “Colcannon Soup (Potato Kale Soup)”

  1. Thanks so much – this recipe was super delicious. I can’t wait to make it again!
    (Oh, and your picture of the soup – I want to use it as my screen saver!)

  2. Wow , just made this for lunch and it’s amazing ! I subbed the kale for cabbage, used homemade broth , and an aged white cheddar—will continue to make this for the rest of my life lol! Thank you for this delicious recipe !

  3. Can I ask what the serving size is for this recipe? Excited to make it!