Rustic Cabbage, Ham and Potato Soup

January 8, 2014 § 10 Comments

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I feel like I live in Antarctica. Deep snow and ice everywhere. Frigid temps. Below zero nights and days which is unusual even for Vermont. We are in what’s called a “polar vortex”, kind of a scary sounding term I think. I keep expecting to see some penguins come marching up the road any day now!

This weather is soup weather alright, and I’ve been making some every day for lunch. Might start having it for breakfast too. Yesterday I made some for dinner. I had some ham left over from a delicious smoked ham that came from Sleeping Dog Farm in nearby Wilmington, Vermont. Their beef and pork is pasture raised from heritage breeds and so delicious.

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Anyway I had some of this delicious ham left over, after making dinners and lunches and of course split pea soup with the bone. I just used a few ingredients, potatoes, cabbage and the ham, you don’t need more. If you don’t have any ham you can easily substitute bacon, the thicker cut the better. Try to get the ham in one big piece if you can, rather than sliced.

Now you could easily make this into a stew if you don’t like soup for dinner. Just don’t add as much chicken broth and add more ham. And I suggest making this a day ahead as it really does get much better as it sits awhile. It’s amazing to me how just these three rather plain ingredients can have so much flavor when cooked together. Add some bread and a salad and you have dinner.

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Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped fine

2 pounds potatoes, I like Yukon Gold, peeled and cut into chunks

bacon fat or olive oil for sautéing

about 4 cups chicken stock

2 bay leaves

2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp  pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 head large green cabbage, cut into strips

about 1 cup ham, cut into chunks or 2 or 3 strips bacon

Sauté  the onion in a little bacon fat or olive oil, about a TBL, for a few minutes. Add the cut up potatoes and brown in the fat another few minutes.

Add the chicken stock, bay leaves, salt, pepper and paprika. Bring to a boil then add the cabbage. Bring to boil again and then turn down to a simmer and cook about 45 minutes.

While this is simmering, brown the ham in a little butter. Or cut the bacon into pieces and cook until crispy.

With a potato masher, smush a few potatoes to thicken the soup. Add the ham or bacon and also the drippings, then adjust the seasonings.

Don’t forget to remove bay leaves before serving.

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Best enjoyed while looking out the window at the snow and ice!

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