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Clodagh McKenna's St Patrick’s Day lunch

We’re back in O’Leary’s for some more great craic. Clodagh’s jigged her way behind the bar, ready to heat things up as she makes her famous St Patrick’s Day Feast - her classic Irish Colcannon Soup with a side of Clodagh soda bread.

Colcannon soup with parsley pesto

Serves: 6


50g butter

300g potatoes, peeled and diced

100g onions, peeled and diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated

800ml hot stock (chicken or veg)

400g cabbage, sliced

100ml cream

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the parsley pesto

150g fresh flat parsley (Italian Parsley)

150ml extra virgin olive oil

50g hazelnuts, toasted

1 garlic clove, crushed

50g freshly grated parmesan cheese


1. Place a heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted add in the potatoes, onions, garlic and nutmeg, stir, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Leave these to sweat for about 15 minutes – stirring occasionally.

2. Then add the hot stock and bring the heat up to high. Let the onions and potatoes cook in the stock until they are completely soft then add the cabbage – the cabbage will only take 5 minutes to cook.

3. While the cabbage is cooking, place all the ingredients for the parsley pesto in a food processor and blend until you have a chunky consistency, set aside.

4. When the cabbage has wilted, stir in the cream then pour the mixture into a blender and whiz until you get a smooth consistency. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

5. To serve, pour the soup into bowls and garnish with a generous drizzle of parsley pesto.

Clodagh's soda bread


3 cups / 350g wholemeal flour

1 3/4 cups / 200g white flour, plus extra to dust

2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups / 350ml milk

1 cup / 250ml natural yogurt


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, 425°F, Gas Mark 7.

2. Sieve the white flour and bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl, and stir in the wholemeal flour. Using clean hands mix the flours, bread soda and half the chopped fresh rosemary together. Make a well in the centre of the bowl.

3. Whisk together the yogurt and milk and slowly pour most of it into the well of dried ingredients, reserving some for the glaze. Using your free hand to mix the flour into the buttermilk - try and spread your fingers far apart so it resembles a trough. Make sure that there are no dry patches and that the dough is completely wet.

4. Pat your hands with flour and shape the dough into one round. Place on a floured baking tray. Flour a large knife and cut the shape of a cross into the top of the dough about two-thirds of the way through.

5. Brush the round of bread with the remaining amilk and yogurt mixture using a pastry brush, this will give a lovely golden colour to the bread once baked and sprinkle the rest of the chopped fresh rosemary on top.

6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 220°C, 425°F, Gas Mark 7 for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4 for a further 25 minutes. To test whether the loaf is cooked, tap the back with your knuckles - it should sound hollow.

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