Yes, the date in the top right hand corner is off by a year for this post.  (Sweet Rusticity is as well. ) It should be October of 2010.  (I fixed it!  And, if you are wondering, it did take me almost a year to fix it.  I pulled it off a couple months shy of October, imagine that.)  If my track record says anything with gadgetry such as establishing a blog, it will take me a year to figure out how to correct it;  and, by that time it will be October 2011.   That aside, there is good soup below.

It is a wonderful thing when the most humble of ingredients come together to form a meal.  Beans and cabbage, humility experienced through food.

Cabbage with its cancer-fighting compounds, is part of the cruciferous family. Green or savoy pairs well with cannelini beans adding body and substance to the soup.  The flavor is heightened in this dish with ham and ground thyme.

Cabbage Soup with Ham and Mushrooms

Cooks Note:  Ham steaks, such as Cumberland Gap brand,  can usually be found packaged in 8 oz. sizes.  I serve this soup with a good quality bakery bread and extra virgin olive oil for a complete meal.  Yields 4 – 6 servings.

1 medium yellow or sweet onion, diced
12 oz.  button mushrooms, remove dirt, slice thinly
2  - 8 oz. ham steaks,  diced
1 small head, green or savoy cabbage, rinsed and sliced thinly
1 T. (heaping) ground thyme
2 – 14 oz. cans cannelini beans or other white bean, rinsed and drained, set aside
4 – 6 c. low-sodium chicken broth
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil for serving
  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, over medium high heat warm 3 T. or so of extra virgin olive oil.  Once the oil is heated, sauté the onion with a big pinch of salt until it begins to turn translucent,  about 5 – 7 minutes.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms.  Sauté the mushrooms about 5 minutes until they begin to lose moisture and soften.  Adjusting the heat as necessary to avoid burning the vegetables.
  3. Once the mushrooms have begun to soften and lose moisture, add the ham, stirring to sauté about 2 -3 minutes. Scrape up brown bits of flavor from the bottom of the pot. (The brown bits are known as fond and impart terrific flavor to a dish. )
  4. Once the meat has been warmed through, add the cabbage, thyme and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently,  until the cabbage begins to wilt.
  5. Add the beans and 4 cups of broth or more to desired consistency.  Simmer 20 – 30 minutes. Serve with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over each serving, if desired.

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