Ham and Cabbage Soup

This recipe is similar to my Ham and Potato Soup, but there is enough difference to warrant its own post. I used the ham bone from family Christmas dinner, along with our New Year’s cabbage.* It may not bring us luck or money, but it uses leftovers and is darn delicious!

  • 1 ham bone (or 1-2 cups diced cooked ham if no bone available)
  • 1 head cabbage, cut into chunks, core removed
  • 4 cups water + 1 tbsp chicken or vegetable bouillon (or 4 cups broth)
  • 1 sweet onion, diced (or 1/2 cup pre-diced)
  • 8-12 Yukon Gold or similar small potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cloves (2 tsp) garlic, smashed or minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Milk or cream for serving (optional)

Place bone, onion, and garlic in large slow cooker and add water or broth. Arrange cabbage over the top and place potatoes on top of cabbage; add seasonings. Cook all day on low (at least 8 hours). Remove bone and cut off any remaining meat, returning it to the pot. Stir well to break apart the chunks of cabbage, and remove and shred any large pieces of meat. Serve with a drizzle of milk or cream if desired, for extra richness.

(I’ve also made this with the addition of a cup of matchstick carrots,which added color and a nice sweetness.)


*(I don’t know the history of this tradition my friend Elizabeth has gotten us — and several other friends — to perpetuate each year, and the only link I could find is this. She posts a reminder every year to buy a cabbage, place it on your front porch on the 31st, and leave it until the 3rd; then bring it in and throw it away or use it as you like. We leave ours in the bag so it remains clean, and hopefully safe from nosy wildlife. This practice is supposed to bring you enough money to be comfortable in the new year.)


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