I’ve decided that one of my favorite things to do in life is work alongside friends. Like literally, do my day-to-day work while sitting next to other friends who are doing their day-to-day work. You know, co-working! Together!
I feel incredibly lucky that this is something that happens naturally at my neighborhood coffee shop, where a handful of entrepreneur friends and I all groggily show up first thing in the mornings, order all of our “usuals”, make the rounds to say hi and catch up, and then set up camp with our laptops and knock out the first few hours of work for the day. Some mornings are more chatty than others. Some mornings are definitely more productive than others. But every day, I come away happy that items are checked off on my to-do list, and even happier that I got to see my friends.
Lately, though, I have become an even bigger fan of “working dates” with friends…at home.
Last weekend, for example, my neighbor Cate and I were overdue for some serious catch-up time after my month in Austin. But our schedules were busy, and we both had long lists of things we had to do for work. So on Saturday afternoon, Cate brought her dog and her work supplies over to my place and set up “shop” on my dining room table while I finished up testing two recipes and shooting the photos for this Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup. We lucked out in that both of our tasks that day happened to be more physical than mental. So we worked with our hands, talked for hours and hours all the while, and then enjoyed some soup in the end. All in our yoga clothes, of course. With our pups napping nearby on the floor. At home. And it was awesome.
I seriously can’t believe this is what I get to call “work”.
Of course, as someone who spent the 7 years prior to this working in a cubicle in a window-less basement office, I’m well aware that this cool working-from-home situation I have now is a complete and utter gift. As are the amazing entrepreneurial friends with whom I get to have “working dates”, like Cate. I’m well-aware that life and work can change in a heartbeat, and that this season of getting to work from home may not last forever, so I don’t take a second of it for granted.
Quite the opposite, really. Any time that I get to sit at my computer — or in that day’s case, balance high on my step stool photographing a steaming bowl of soup — and do my work in the company of friends, I’m fully aware of how special it is. Because in the time it took me to finish cooking, dish up and photograph this soup, Cate also got a ton done and crafted an entire new series of props for her photo bus business. And on top of that, we also chatted for hours about everything from dating to pizza to therapists to new business ideas to camera lenses to some of our biggest hopes and fears (no less) and more.
You know, all in a day’s work. :)
So good. :)
As is…this soup! (How’s that for a transition?)
I realized a few weeks ago that I didn’t have any St. Patrick’s Day recipes on the docket for this year, which is highly unacceptable in this corned beef and cabbage lover’s book. So a few days before I left town for SXSW, I decided to throw a literal rainbow of ingredients in the slow cooker to make a batch of traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup. It seemed like a good idea in theory. But in reality, it turned out to be a culinary a pot o’ gold.
I. LOVED. THIS. SOUP.
I mean, I don’t know how you can go wrong with anything corned beef and cabbage. But if I’m honest, I might have even loved this soup better than the real deal. Because after simmering in the crockpot all day, the beef was unbelievably tender, the cabbage softened to the point that it nearly dissolved into the flavorful chicken broth, the carrots and potatoes and celery thickened the soup into a nice chunky stew, and oh man — the entire thing was just a treat.
Total comfort food. Totally easy. And totally, magically delicious.
Perfect for work. Perfect for dates. Perfect for work dates.
This Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup is everything you love about this Irish comfort food, made all the more delicious and comforting when simmered together into a stew.
4 cups chicken stock
1 (12-ounce) bottle of beer (I used a pale ale)
1.5 pounds corned beef, cut into large chunks
1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
1 small head green cabbage, quartered, cored and shredded
1 bay leaf
generous pinch of salt and freshly-ground black pepper
for serving: chopped fresh parsley
Add all ingredients to a large slow cooker bowl, and toss to combine. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, or until the beef is tender and shreds easily.
Transfer the beef chunks from the stew to a separate plate, and use two forks to shred it into bite-sized pieces. Return the beef to the stew, and stir to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if need be, then remove the bay leaf.
Serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.
Never tried this before…thinking this is a good place to start!
I have been thinking about having a work date with friends!
But, we move SO much, that I never have a chance to actually make friends. So, I guess my dog will do.
OR, i can drown my friendless sorrows in this soup. Corned beef comfort food for the win! Pinned!
In the past I haven’t been a very good husband because I won’t eat anything my wife makes with cabbage or Brussels Sprouts in it. But this soup actually looks really good and I’m going to share it with her as a compromise. We usually “eat” corned beef and hash on St. Paddy’s Day but it never comes out right and I think maybe we should try this instead. Because last year, we ended up having to order a pizza when it bombed
Any leftovers. See you Wed.!
I love working alongside friends, too and find that it’s an really productive time. In fact, even working at my local Starbucks is great. There’s a big communal table and there are several people there everyday with their laptops. Even though we don’t know each other, it’s great to work alongside others.
And now, this soup…this is the kind of corned beef dish I can get behind. I’ll bet it would go along perfectly with a pint of Guinness.
This sounds delicious, but I am concerned about doing in the slow cooker, because I just did a non-soup version, which did not come out as flavorful as I would have liked. The problem I had with the flavor came from the fact that I was raised on the dish cooked on the stove top, which intensifies the flavors. I would probably opt to do this on the stove.
This looks delicious!! I’m wondering if the beer could be replaced by something else. I’m cooking for an alcohol-free household. :) Should I just add more chicken stock or is there something else that might be a good replacement? Thanks for your help with this!
Sure thing — you can substitute 1 1/2 cups chicken broth instead of the beer. Enjoy!
This looks delicious!!!
Working with friends is the best! I think it would be FAB to have a big studio with a big kitchen and group of bloggers all working together. More fun, more learning and more props! and how great it would be to have my dinning room table back (it doubles as my studio these days)
This soup sounds great, and your pics are beautiful!
It looks delicious. How many servings does the recipe serve? How big is your crockpot? I want to make it for my family. It is perfect to serve to a complete ready made dinner after a LONG day. Thank you!
It should serve 6-8 servings, and I have a large crock pot. :)
Great recipe and delicious soup. I’ve tried the non alcohol version which @Ali recommended and it was wonderful. The kids loved it. I love how much veggies are in it and how healthy it turn out to be.
About the concerns @Susan had about using the slow cooker: i think it’s just the way to go for and in my case the results were great :)
Thanks again Ali.
Thanks Amber, I’m glad you and your kiddos liked these! : )
This looks fantastic! My whole family lovvves corned beef and cabbage. Do you think it would freeze well? I am never sure about freezing potatoes in soup…. would they get mushy upon thawing?
This soup should freeze well! The potatoes might get a little mushy, but they’ll still be good. :)
Julie made this for dinner tonight.
OVER THE TOP!!!
Thanks Wayne, glad it was a hit! : )
I love working along side friends!!! I don’t get to do it much but I got to do a bit of it during a recent retreat and it was so nice to be able to work amongst other people who get it.
Looks yummy!! But a quick question: is the corned beef cooked already or raw? Thanks!
Good question – I used raw!
Did you use point cut or flat cut corned beef?
I used flat cut, but either will work!
Hi! Just wanted to let you know I made this recipe (minus the beer because I forgot to pick it up at the market), and it turned out delicious! I have never made a St. Patrick’s day dinner before but when I saw this on Instagram I thought “why not?” :) My hubby and the littles really enjoyed it too. Thanks for sharing your recipes, just wanted to let you know it was a hit!
Yay!! So glad you both enjoyed it! :)
Can I use a crockpot? Is it the same thing as a slow cooker?
Yep, a Crock-Pot is one brand of slow cooker. So they’re the same thing! :)
Hiit is a woderful post
Just popped everything into my beloved slow cooker, in four hours we’ll be enjoying your tasty recipe Ali. Love from Ireland !
Thanks Lisa, I hope you enjoy it! Where in Ireland are you? What a beautiful country!
Looking forward to making this wonderful soup. It will be a very special meal as I haven’t made this before. I have enjoyed cooking for 57 years , my man loves soup and casseroles, we are 75 & 78 , so we like to get 2 or 3 meals from whatever I cook. Thank you for your time and work you put into this. Carolyn
Very cool Carolyn! We think it’s wonderful that you’ve been cooking for so long, and that you still enjoy it! We hope you and your husband enjoy the soup. Thank you for giving it a try!
Was just wondering if you are supposed to add in the season packet that comes with the corned beef? Planning on making this tomorrow!!! Looks so good
Nope, no seasoning packet needed. Enjoy!
Hello. I came accross this delicious soup while i was looking for slow cooker recipes and decided to give it a try. I didnt have much success unfortunately :(
I shredded the cabbage with a grater, i chopped the veggies up and added the broth. I did change 2 things, i used regular stewing beef because i couldn’t find anything other than canned corned beef or thinly sliced and i used sweet potato rather than yukon(taste preference) i left this in the slow cooker for 8hrs on low and it has not come together like yours. The cabbage is still in shreds and the broth is still quite watery, unlike yours that looks thicker with a yellow/greenish tint. Any thoughts as to why mine looks nothing like yours?
Hmmm, I’m not quite sure. The broth in mine was still fairly thin, so I wouldn’t expect too thick of a broth. But it sounds like the cabbage somehow didn’t get fully cooked. Maybe your slow cooker doesn’t get that hot on the low setting? If you try it again, I would let it cook for 4-ish hours on high, or until the meat is tender and the cabbage is soft. Sorry about that — hope it turns out better next time!
My daughter is gluten intolerant could I omit the beer? Or would a gluten free beer work just as well.
Hi Brittany, we think a gluten-free beer would work just fine! We hope you enjoy! :)
This recipe turned out perfectly. I added a jalapeño and 4 cloves of garlic because I like my soups a little spicy and I love garlic. So easy and delicious!
Thanks Sherri — we’re glad to hear that! :)
This might be a silly question but do you put the corn beef seasoning packet in as well? Sounds yummy!!!
Hi Lee! We didn’t use a seasoning packet for this. We hope you enjoy!
If you were going to thicken this and make it more like a stew, would you use cornstarch, or flour? I will be making it in my thermal cooker and taking it with me to my kids’ homeschool co-op for lunch. We all prefer thicker, not watery.
Hi Angela! That’s a good question! I think we would opt for flour. We hope you all enjoy!
Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Made it today for tonight’s dinner. We loved it!
You’re welcome Laura — we’re so glad you loved it! :)
How do you think this would work with beef broth as a substitute for the chicken broth? Or is that the combination of tastes you are looking for?
Excellent recipe. Going to make up a pot for lunches.
Hey Brian! Good question. Beef broth will actually work just fine. We hope you enjoy! :)
If my corned beef is already cooked (leftovers) should I adjust the cooking time?
Hi Shelby! We would suggest adding the beef during the last hour of cooking. The potatoes will still need the full cook time, so we wouldn’t recommend shortening the overall cooking time. We hope you enjoy this! :)
I made this soup as an alternate to the traditional corned beef/cabbage dinner about a month ago when I saw it. I must say I made this with hesitation/anticipation. Here are the results: I didn’t use the entire bottle of beer…lol, I drank the first half, I used the seasoning packet, I used chicken bouillon cubes to make my chicken stock. The result? DELICIOUS, I took samples to work (at a hospital) and everyone has requested not only the recipe, but for me to make it again. Thank you for the alternate of a traditional meal. DELICIOUS. Since I work swing shift (3-11:30pm) I will make/start it tonight (3-16-16) for 2 hours, fridge it, and take it to work and finish the last 2 hours prior to our dinner time…so it will be nice and hot to serve. Thanks again. Tami
We’re so glad you enjoyed this Tami — thanks for sharing with us! We love that you drank half your beer first (we like your way of thinking)! ;)
OMG. I, too, love corned beef and cabbage. My mom always made soup with the leftovers, but it was always one of those “measure with your eyeballs” recipes. Meaning it was too difficult to replicate. I’m so excited to try this out!
Yay, we hope you enjoy this Natalie, and that it reminds you of your mom’s! :)
This looks Amazing! I’m going to make it tomorrow. Two questions. I don’t have a crock pot at the moment. Can I use a big pot and keep it on low all day? Also, I got the point cut because my grocery store had it on sale for 2$ a pound. Can I throw the whole thing in the pot and then cut it after its cooked, that way I can trim the fat easily?
Thanks Jessica! And yes, we think that should work fine! You’ll want to make sure you bring everything to a boil first though, then simmer for awhile before turning down to low (you want to make sure the veggies and everything cook fully). And regarding the beef, yes, we think that should be fine. We hope you enjoy this! :)
Hmm Looks so good I can’t wait to try it. Thank You
Thanks Bonnie — we hope you enjoy! :)
What type of pale ale did you use? I don’t drink beer so I’m unfamiliar with what type of pale ale to use. I have made this before and loved it just can’t remember what beer I used.
We like Sierra Nevada but feel free to use any type of pale ale. :)
This recipe looks yummy! But there is a typo… the cabbage dissolves into the chicken broth, not breast. Keep up the good work!
Oh my goodness, you’re so right! We can’t believe we never caught that before (how embarrassing)! :O Thanks for bringing this to our attention!
I accidentally used chicken broth instead of chicken stock. Will this ruin the soup?
No, that’s fine — they’re similar enough for what you’re using it for. You may find that you need to add a bit more seasoning though (chicken broth just isn’t quite as complex or flavorful as chicken stock). We hope you enjoyed this nonetheless!
Have you ever tried making this with turnip as well? I love turnip and I’m about to make the soup, but I don’t want to use it if it might give the soup an odd taste.
We haven’t, but we think it’s worth a try if you love turnips! :)
I don’t see the freezer part. I’d like to be able to make this ahead when items are on sale
Hi Colleen! We’re not sure what you mean — you should be able to freeze this just fine! :)
Hi! I am wondering if I should use 2 whole celery stalks or just 2 “ribs” from the stalk. It seems like 2 whole stalks would be a lot.
Hi Alison! It’s just 2 ribs from the stalk. :) We hope you enjoy!
Can I substitute kielbasa sausage instead of corned beef?
We haven’t tried that, but we think that would be fine. It will have a different flavor but should still be yummy! You wouldn’t need to add it in the beginning though (since it’s already been cooked). Just heat it through in a skillet and add at the end. We hope this helps!
This is one of the best soups I have ever made! After simmering in the slow cooker all day, I removed the broth and reduced it for more flavor. I added half and half combined with 2 tablespoons of flour to replace the lost water. While doing this, I transferred the meat to the oven which intensified its flavor as well. My husband was impressed by this soup, thank you for sharing!
Thank you so much, Ari, we’re so glad you and your husband enjoyed it! :)
This is so delicious. I
I don’t have Yukon gold though their my favorite. Can I use Idaho potatoes instead?
Can I make this soup in my big soup pot on stove top? Will it be too salty? Am making it today. Can’t wait to try it
Super easy! Natural, delicious flavor. It’s a beautiful soup and was easy to double. For next time though, I will cut the meat to the size to be eaten. The chunks were big, and I had to fish them out and gently shred them for smaller bites, like the picture. I’ll be back for more of your recipes!
I made the corned beef crock pot soup. Sooo yummy! I did add four more cups of chicken broth.
Hi! I came across this from another website after looking for crockpot meals that can be prepped and frozen ahead of time, and I’m so glad I did! Just chopped everything up and put everything but the broth in a freezer bag. The other day, I had a meeting after work, so I just emptied the bag in a crock pot with the broth and it cooked all day and was delicious when I got home. Unfortunately, I didn’t have corned beef, but chunks of ham was a pretty yummy substitute, and it cut out the time it would have taken to remove and shred the meat before serving. Can’t wait to try it as written, though (I love me some corned beef and cabbage)! Thanks for a great soup recipe!
Sounds delish! I am giving it a try! Glad I found your site!!! Happy Saint Patty’s Day!
I’ve been making a version of this soup on the stove top for years, using the left over corned beef from our St Patrick’s Day sandwiches. I saute the onions, celery, carrots and garlic for about 10 minutes, then add the chicken broth, spices and potatoes. After 10 minutes or so I add sauteed cabbage and bacon I serve with my sandwiches. Meanwhile, on the side I cook 1 cup of barley in the cooking liquid from the corned beef and when it is tender I add it to the soup along with the left over corned beef chopped into bite sized pieces. Simmer until heated through and I serve it with crusty bread and Gruyere cheese.