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Ham and Cabbage Soup

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Cabbage & Ham Soup |

Yesterday morning I woke up and was surprised by snow blanketing the ground in Kansas City. It was breathtaking. But to be honest, I think I was more surprised by the surprise!

I think it has literally been a decade since I woke up to a completely unexpected snowfall, probably because everything from my phone to my computer to my car to the buzz around friends is always alerting the world to even the “slightest” chance of flurries. But not this week. Somehow snow snuck up on Kansas City, and for at least a brief little moment, I felt like a kid waking up on Christmas. Pure delight. (I didn’t even complain about the cold!!)  :)

So since snow and a big bowl of comforting soup are pretty much a “given” combo in my book, I decided to heat up some delicious Ham & Cabbage Soup leftovers I had from creating this recipe for the Cooking For Comfort ECookbook with the National Pork Board. This soup is one of my longtime favorites, mostly because it is made with wonderfully flavorful homemade ham broth (my favorite!), and it is a breeze to throw together. I literally make it at least once a month in the winter, and always freeze the leftovers because it makes a nice big batch, which turns out perfect on chilly snow days that call for comfort food.

We are actually also giving away 10 copies of the Cooking For Comfort ECookbook today on the blog too! So read below for the recipe, and also be sure to enter the giveaway to win a copy for you and a friend!

Cabbage & Ham Soup |

Ok, before we get to the giveaway, I want to say a few more words about this soup, especially to any of you out there who don’t often eat cabbage or make ham broth. Both of those ingredients — clearly the rockstars and namesake of the recipe — are absolutely superb in this soup.

The cabbage cooks down to be perfectly tender, with a nice mild flavor that is perfectly complimented by the ham broth. And the cabbage is so good for you!! The recipe literally calls for an entire head of cabbage, which makes the soup nice and thick and filling without all of the calories.

But the secret to this recipe is making homemade ham broth. Oh my goodness, I didn’t discover ham broth until I was in my twenties, and it pretty much changed my life. Ham broth is my absolute favorite broth to cook with, because it’s nice and naturally salty and amazingly flavorful. And it’s really inexpensive and easy to make when you just simmer some ham hocks in water for a few hours. Trust me — you’ve gotta try it. It is comfort food at its best.

Speaking of comfort food, I’m excited to say that we are going to be giving away 10 copies of the Cooking For Comfort ECookbook from the National Pork Board. A bunch of my favorite food bloggers have contributed recipes to the project, along with Chef Michelle Bernstein (James Beard Award winner) and Ray Lampe (BBQ expert).

So cheers to comfort food on chilly months! Hope that you are all staying warm and enjoying the holiday season. :)

Cooking For Comfort ECookbook

Cooking For Comfort ECookbook GIVEAWAY

How To Enter:

Simply leave a comment below about your FAVORITE kind of comfort food to enter. We will select 5 winners to each receive two cookbooks, which will be mailed directly to you. (Winners will be chosen by, US residents only please.)

Good luck!

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Ham and Cabbage Soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.6 from 9 reviews
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10 -12 servings 1x


This cabbage and ham soup is overflowing with delicious, comforting flavor. And all of that cabbage is good for you, too!


  • 2 cups diced or shredded ham
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 cups ham or chicken broth*
  • 1 2-pound head cabbage, cored and roughly diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large saucepan or small stockpot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots and celery are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the ham, broth, cabbage, and bay leaves and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the cabbage is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
  2. *To make ham broth, combine 2 smoked ham hocks, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1 onion (quartered), 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns and 4 quarts water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over low heat, reduce to a very gentle simmer, cover and cook until the meat falls off the ham hocks, 3 to 4 hours. Strain the broth and add salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 3 quarts.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and giveaway from the National Pork Board. All opinions are 100% my own as always. I’m honored to be a part of the Comfort of Cooking ECookbook, so was excited to share about it with you. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site possible.

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122 comments on “Ham and Cabbage Soup”

  1. My FAVORITE comfort food recipe is one I can make on a chilly cold night, like tonight, with ingredients I find in the freezer and refrigerator. What’s interesting is that I found a meaty leftover spiral ham bone, a head of cabbage, and plenty of carrots and celery. Perfect for this Ham and Cabbage Soup. No need for grocery shopping. I’m changing into my jammies, pouring a glass of wine and learning how to make ham broth. Yay!

  2. I love ham and bean soup never tried ham and cabbage soup going to make it soon yummy

  3. Hands down when I’m feeling in need of comfort food my thoughts turn to Parmesan chicken with mashed potatoes and peas. It’s super simple I know, but it must take me back to my childhood. My adult palette is much ore sophisticated so I’d love to find some variations on this theme.

    p.s. your brined chicken breast recipe changed my life! I have not served a dry flavorless chicken breast since I found it and l love the various applications. In fact, that recipe is what keeps me coming back to your website.

  4. I will try it tomorrow.
    I adore breakfast, chipped beef on toast with hash browns, sausage gravy over biscuits with hash browns, SOS over toast with hash browns, eggs over easy with rice soy sauce, ginger, asparagus and bacon, sausage, eggs and hash brown or rice, pancakes, eggs and bacon, omelets rice and bacon or ham or pork roll or scrapple.
    I also like soups, all soups and especially Japanese soups.
    I love egg salad warm, chicken salad, turkey salad, potato salad and coleslaw.
    Good fall off the bone ribs with rice is a favorite, As is a juicy steak, Salmon fillet, Fresh Tuna, Pork roast and and Tempura. Pork Gyoza deep fried and steamed dumplings fit the bill too as long as Nishiki rice or kokoho rose rice is available for all of these meats.
    Thanks for listening.

  5. My favorite comfort food is soup or stew with crackers.

  6. My favorite comfort food is Always homemade Mac n cheese.
    My Mom always made the very best!
    I change it up a bit at times.
    I can add ham, or bacon. And I make my own smoked cheese.
    So I will add a bit of that sometimes also. I almost always use a blend of cheeses, with the cheddar always being the main one.
    We only use the best cheese. Here in the PNW ~that’s Tillamook. Best cheese ever!

  7. This is a delicious recipe..I love using ham,when I have some leftover!..other times I will sub in kielbasa or polish sausage,I’ve used in a pinch as well!..pretty much anykinda processed or cured salty flavored meat proteins!. Work wonderfully in this delicious flavorful,hearty meal! Its great for a hearty cold weather comfort food! also works well as a lite summer meal as well!..

  8. Just made your vegetable beef soup. Right. It’s August and cold cucumber soup is probably more reasonable and mainstream but when my wife saw the recipe foodie sensibility melted away. Then, I see the ham and cabbage soup! Sure, you are genius to celebrate ham broth and cabbage. I had a soup just like this in 2001 while visiting a cousin in Dublin, Ireland. She puts a little chopped scallions in each bowl before serving and we had soda bread and Manger’s Cider. Will be heating up the ham hocks this coming Saturday. Blessings on you!

  9. It’s so very good!!!

  10. For this daughter of an Italian born father comfort food in our family will always be pasta, with a sauce that takes days to make as the pork ribs, Italian sausage and home made meatballs have to simmer in for that meat flavor. While others to Christmas hams or turkey and ham or lamb for Easter its always pasta for this family. And don’t forget Sunday dinner when pasta was the law!

  11. My favorite comfort food is leftover turkey dressing ( my mother’s cracker recipe), covered with turkey gravy! I most often eat this the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas 💖