I love this time of year. The lights, laughter, music surround us. Yet, I tire of the fast pace, the lists, the shopping and the constant, “What else needs to be done.” Are you with me?
What’s for dinner is a never ending question. With all of the rushing, a hot nourishing meal is often just out of reach. This soup is the answer to great, easy family meals.
This recipe is perfect for this time of year—especially if you have a little ham left over from that weekend party. (I do, for last weekend was our wine party. Ham, laughter and wine—what more could you want?)
All of the vegetables in the soup give you that shot of nutrition you need to keep the pace going strong. And soup just seems to give you a moment of comfort. On the stove, or in the slow cooker, it is the ideal make-ahead meal.
Do you love soup? Do you make the chunky, full-of-flavor kind that simmers on the stove or do you rely on the “open the can and heat it up” variety? We often hear people feel “soup challenged,” thinking it should be easy and yet, somehow the flavor of their homemade soup doesn’t quite measure up. Never fear. We are teaching a cooking class on “Soup for Supper” on January 13. We will share great recipes and all of the tips you need to make a great tasting soup. Join us at The Culinary Center in Overland Park (advance registration is needed.) Need a gift idea? How about giving someone you know a gift certificate to take a class –or just treat yourself to a tasty, fun class. We are teaching several classes (like a French dinner, Cast Iron Cooking, Pies and Cinnamon Pull Apart bread!) at A Thyme for Everything and The Culinary Center and would love to have you come. See the list of classes we are teaching here.
Now, enjoy those lights, listen to the music and ladle up a hot bowl of soup.
Ham and Vegetable Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 medium leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into ½-inch slices
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 (32-ounce) cartons reduced sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ small to medium head cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 ½ to 2 cups cubed ham (cut into cubes about ½ inch)
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add leeks and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes.
Add the potatoes, broth, bay leaves and thyme. Heat until boiling.
Stir in cabbage and ham. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Stir in vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Slow Cooker: Omit the oil. Combine all ingredients except the vinegar in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Stir in vinegar, remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Tip: Have you cooked with leeks? Trim off the leaves and root ends. Slice the leek in half lengthwise and separate the leaves so it is easy to wash between them. Slice the leeks ½-inch thick.
Note: Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart