This Cream of Cabbage Soup is a perfect recipe for some leftover ham. I'm always trying to think of ways to use leftovers so they aren't just a repeat of the first meal... that can get boring after awhile. This recipe used leftover cabbage as well... I had used only half a head of cabbage for something and wasn't in the mood for coleslaw..
It was a rainy day and a bit cold … soup was my first thought… then I had remembered a soup I had a long time ago that was absolutely wonderful… so I decided to try and recreate it based on the flavors I remembered… I came darn close…
This soup was so hearty and good… we had it for dinner … it was both satisfying and delicious!
I made the bacon in the oven… you can make it in the skillet and make the sauce there as long as it has high enough side… otherwise… I recommend you make the bacon in the oven… see my previous post on How to Make Bacon in the Oven …. Set the slices of cooked bacon on paper towels to drain… and spoon off 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat to make the roux.
If you decide to omit the bacon… you can use 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine for the bacon grease… then you will need 4 tablespoons butter or margarine altogether… since the recipe uses 2 tablespoons bacon grease and 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. I would think twice before omitting the bacon… it gives the soup a light smokey flavor that really goes so well with the ham.
A smoked ham is preferred… it has more flavor to add to the soup than one that is not smoked… either kind will work though. The amount of ham used is flexible… add more if you like… this is a hearty soup.
This is a fairly thin soup even with the thickening sauce added… if you prefer it thicker.. and more flour and fat (bacon grease or butter….1 tablespoon fat to 1 tablespoon flour)… when you make the thickening sauce.
Serve this soup with a nice crusty bread.. and you have a complete meal… totally delicious!
Recipe: Cream of Cabbage Soup
All you need:
½ head of a medium sized cabbage, sliced then chopped
3 carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 lb. ham steak or about 3 cups ham, diced
2 slices of bacon, cooked, drained and chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk (whole milk preferred)
2 tablespoons bacon grease or butter or margarine *see tip above
2 tablespoon butter or margarine
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
All you need to do:
Slice the cabbage, then roughly chop it… you do not want fine pieces. Set aside.
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoons bacon grease (see tips).
Add the diced onion and celery and cook until onions are translucent… stir frequently… do not let them brown.
Add the cabbage, carrots, potatoes, dried thyme and chicken broth.
Cook and simmer for about 30 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon bacon grease and 2 tablespoons butter until butter is melted.
Add the flour and stir well… cook for about 2 minutes to cook off the taste of the flour.
Add the milk and whisk vigorously until smooth… stir constantly until sauce thickens.
When the vegetables are cooked and tender… add the diced ham and stir well.
Add the cream sauce and stir well until well incorporated into the soup.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in bowls.. sprinkle chopped bacon and parsley (optional)over the top.
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