Now here's a soup with a difference from How to Cook Well with Rory O'Connell on RTÉ One.

Rory says: "A single slice of black pudding, sizzling from the pan is great in each bowl of this comforting and nourishing soup. The parsley pesto, a great and versatile sauce, combines brilliantly with the potato and the pudding. Failing black pudding, a few slices of chorizo in olive oil or a sprinkle of crispy lardons of bacon are excellent."

Ingredients:

  • Onions and potatoes vary enormously in quality and flavour so try and source ones grown in your part of the world. 
  • Black pudding also varies in quality and generally puddings produced by artisan producers tend to be considerably better than the factory produced equivalent.
  • 50g butter
  • 425g peeled potato, cut into 1cm dice
  • 175g peeled onions, cut into 1cm dice 
  • 900ml chicken stock
  • 120 ml creamy milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and allow to foam.
  2. Add the diced vegetables and coat in the butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover with a greaseproof paper lid and the saucepan lid and cook on a very low heat for 10 minutes approx. The potatoes should be just beginning to break down at this point. This process is called sweating and makes a great difference to the flavour of the finished soup.
  4. Now add the stock. Bring to the boil.
  5. Replace the lid and simmer gently until the vegetables are soft and cooked. This takes about 15 minutes. Puree the soup in a liquidizer or with a hand blender until a smooth and silky consistency is achieved. Add creamy milk as necessary.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  7. Serve the soup in hot bowls with a teaspoon of parsley pesto and a slice of sizzling black pudding per person.

Black pudding.
Allow 1 thick slice of black pudding per person. Fry the pudding gently in butter or olive oil on both sides to heat through. Place one slice in each bowl with the soup and a blob of parsley pesto.