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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

  • 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”

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  1. Oh cool!! My favorite comfort food is Macaroni and Cheese :)

  2. Delicious-looking soup! MY fav comfort food is probably warm, flaky homemade biscuits with butter and honey. Mmmmmm. :)

  3. Warm mac and cheese!

  4. My favorite comfort food is a toss up between real mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. I just love carbs.

  5. Comfort food at our house is Lebanese stuff – don’t know why – but it feels like home!

  6. Carbs = comfort foods… Mashed potatoes and gravy, warm bread with butter, cinnamon rolls with gooey caramel…

  7. I’m such a cabbage and soup fan! This recipe sounds great!

    My favorite comfort food is schnitzel (a fried pork cutlet) with sauerkraut!

  8. Anything and everything soup!! Hubby loves tomato soup, and I love Nabe (Japanese hot pot soups)

  9. Pizza is the ultimate comfort food. I can eat it any day and it puts me in a good mood (unfortunately also weight on my waist line, lol).

  10. We get a ton of cabbage in our CSA during the cold months, so a recipe like this is much appreciated. I love your description of waking up to the snow. It really is magical isn’t it?

  11. Favorite comfort food is chicken soup…homemade of course! Potato dumplings too

  12. My favorite comfort food is pot roast with sour cream and chive mashed potatoes.

  13. My favorite comfort food is soup, home made of course. Tomato, chicken noodle, beef vegetable – let it just be said my soup recipe file is larger than any other. Because we live in the South and do not have any extended, super cold weather, I am often challenged to fit in “cold enough to eat soup days”. We are tempted sometimes to turn on the AC just to eat our soup! Well, maybe not! I have a ham bone in the freezer just waiting for this recipe and it’s chilly outside.

  14. Cabbage in anything is fine. I like all foods from around the globe, but in winter a meal of roasted ham with scalloped potatoes, steamed carrots and cabbage and corn with red peppers never disappoints. Your soup will be on the menu for Sunday…….thanks.

  15. Soup is my favorite comfort food for sure! The heartier the better. This one looks delicious so I’ll have to give it a try. I love making my own broths – they just make the soup that much tastier and I can control the amount of salt in them as well. Thanks for the opportunity to win the cookbooks.

  16. My favorite comfort food is macaroni and cheese.

  17. I was surprised too and boy is there a bit to the wind

  18. Some good chili. And cornbread. Add some Fritos too and I am in love.

  19. Mac and cheese!

  20. Mac and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods :)

  21. OHHH I would love to win that cookbook!!!

  22. I’m going to try this this weekend… Sounds delicious. And I have all the ingredients!!! Love trying new recipes.

  23. I’m going to try this this weekend… Sounds delicious. And I have all the ingredients!!! Love trying new recipes. Favorite comfort food is soup. I eat it all year long.

  24. Chili! Soo good in this cold weather!

  25. Chicken and Dumplings!

  26. Love this!!! I would love the cooking books!!

  27. Chicken soup with tortilla chips!!

  28. My favorite comfort food is a big bowl of pasta with really garlicky sauce!

  29. My favorite comfort used to be chicken and dumplings, but since I have adopted an anti-inflammatory diet (no gluten/wheat, no dairy, no sugar), I tend to turn more to things like Meatballs on a bed of spinach.

  30. Mashed potatoes, meatloaf, and homemade biscuits

  31. Guacamole…

  32. My favorite comfort food is definitely chili!!

  33. Macaroni and Cheese is my ultimate comfort food. Best part is it goes with just about anything or great by itself. :D

  34. My favorite comfort food is a toss-up. Ham and beans w/corn bread or Corned Beef and Cabbage.

  35. My favorite comfort foods are pinto beans with smothered potatoes (which I can’t ever get right:( )& homemade cornbread hot out the oven or baked potato soup with the works:)

    I collect cookbooks but nothing is better than one That you know are tried, tested and true. Sitting on pins and needles until I see if maybe I am a lucky winner:) Thank you for the opportunity.

  36. My favorite comfort food is cuban black beans and white. Grew up eating it regularly and it reminds me of home :)

  37. My favorite comfort food is macaroni and cheese. Two of my favorite things: cheese and pasta. I could eat it all day every day!

  38. My favorite comfort food is homemade ham and potato soup. My wife makes it with left over ham from a ham roast and adds in all the goodies. It is warm cheesey and just so good!!

  39. My favorite comfort food would probably be any type of slow cooker chili paired w/ jalapeno cornbread! Cheers!

  40. My favorite comfort food is homemade mac and cheese. Mmm!

  41. Tomato soup And grilled cheese sandwich

  42. Rice gruel with mung beans and spicy lime pickle :)

  43. My favorite comfort food is stew with cornbread crumbled in it.

  44. Comfort Cooking — always reminds one of their Mom.

  45. My favorite comfort food is stacked enchiladas, red new mexico chili, tons of cheese and a fried egg on top!

  46. my comfort food is any kind of soup……I think I am going to make soup today

  47. My favorite comfort food is chicken and dumplings shared with our guests at David’s Refuge!

  48. I would have to say my favorite comfort food is homemade tomato soup and some tasty grilled cheese to dip in it. (Specially when my dad makes it, it’s always so much better for some reason!)

  49. My favorite comfort soup is homemade vegetable soup. I make it the way my mom made it. Start with a ham bone and vegatable broth and dump everything in. Yum, it is wonderful!