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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”

  1. Favorite comfort food is mac n cheese!

  2. My favorite comfort food is homemade noodles that I put in chicken and noodle soup. Wish I had a bowl now. :)

  3. My favorite comfort food is grilled real cheese sandwiches and roasted red pepper tomato soup!

  4. Decadent mac and cheese – think lobster mac. Yum.

  5. This is such a comforting soup. My favorite comforting soup is usually cream or turkey and wild rice. I never seem to tire of it.

  6. Soup and braised meats are my comfort food loves. I just never think to make ham soup myself, but always love a bowl when someone serves it to me. Looks like a lovely warm bowl of soup!

  7. This ham and cabbage soup recipe is right up my alley for comfort of all comfort foods !! I can’t wait to try it out next snow day!

  8. Ali Ebright, My dear I just loves your post about you Grandmother,, It reminds me so much of my own mother, She loved to cook for family and the more the merrier, I loved the way you talked about your grandmother, you can tell how much you loved her and it was such a heart warming story. I thank you so very much for sharing. It brought back so very many memories of my mother and reminded me of how much I miss her and how much I cherish those memories.

    Thank You again
    Giny White

  9. Soup is always my comfort food! It could be a stout broth when I’m sick or a hearty chili when it’s cold outside!

  10. Oh yum, I love soups with ham :) this looks like it is just packed with flavor! I love it

  11. I love to try different soup recipes, especially in the winter. My all time favorite comfort food is pork steak, american fries and pork-n-beans.

  12. my favorite comfort foodhas to be homemade soup good vegetable beef soup or venison I really like Venison a lot in the winter time.

  13. I have numerous comfort foods, but in the winter, spicy chicken noodle soup ( I add Habeneros to mine) with loads of garlic is probably number one! I enjoy making variations-sometimes with noodles, sometimes with rice, sometimes with barley as the added starch. I make a big pot so there’s always enough for two days!:)

  14. I am enjoying this and your honey beer bread for dinner these days! Great work as usual.

  15. Mac and cheese with ham cubes, tomatoes, chiles and breadcrumbs on top

  16. Favorite comfort food – a good chicken pot pie.

  17. I love the Ham and cabbage soup on all the clod winter days we have had this year.

  18. Crazy weather this time of year. Maybe 80 on Monday, but snow on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m going to try ham and cabbage soup. Sounds great.

  19. My favorite comfort food is also a good bowl of soup and some delicious homemade cornbread. I love soup of any type almost, as long as it is flavorful and hearty, filled with tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and some type of green vegetable. I can’t wait to make this soup, even though I live in East Texas, and rarely experience snowy days or nights, soup is my food of choice.

    Janis Holmes

  20. We love pork any old way, but our favorite comfort food is a grill roasted pork butt which i rb with mustard and sprinkle with greek seasoning. Yummy.

  21. potato soup

  22. I liked the recipe but thought it was a little bland so I added some time and a little vinager.

  23. My favorite comfort food is a great Southern food, Chicken and Dumplings!

  24. My favorite comfort food is roasted meat and potatoes with gravy.    I would love to see more of the pork cookbook!  I’m trying the cabbage soup today (and ham broth for the first time) Thanks!   

    Kerri Taylor

  25. We always called this recipe -Poor mans meal-  made during depression by my grandmother to stretch around for everyone. Very simple.

    1 lb hamburger
    1 onion diced
    Fry  both till meat is no longer pink,  for gravy (mix corn starch and water) or can open a jar of gravy , add to meat along with salt
    And pepper to taste. Mix well . Pour this over either (whichever you prefer) mashed potatoes,noodles, or rice and serve with a salad,

    Very simple, very tasty ,very fast and not too expensive. Enjoy!

  26. My “go to” comfort food is chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy!  Then I chase it with my Grandma’s recipe for whole wheat buttermilk chocolate cake!

  27. My favorite winter comfort food is homemade scalloped potatoes and ham!

  28. My favorite comfort food is chicken and noodles With mashed potatoes and green beans.  
    And any kind of soup. 

  29. My favorite comfort food is warm, cheesy macaroni and cheese. Nummy!

  30. I made this today and it is delish.  I added potatoes nukimg them before adding and it came out perfect.  The crispness of the veggies is wonderful as I always overcook mine when making soup.  Thx for a great recipe.

  31. Is the cabbage good frozen then reheated later?

  32. My favorite comfort food is pea soup I make it when ever I want a pick me up .my mother used to make it for me when I was a kid she passed away this past Christmas .So now when I make it I remember fond memories of my mom

  33. I love chili, chicken soup, cabbage soup, even grilled cheese sandwiches and would like to discover new was to prepare them and more.

  34. Wife is on oxygen so i do all the cooking. Would love to be able to cook more things. Meals are becoming boring with the same things all the time. I’m 62 years old take care of the house and need to work part time to make ends meet need to find recipes for crockpot cooking too. Can’t always be home and have to make sure wife is able to eat when I’m not home. Thank you

    • Hi Terry, we’re sorry your wife is not well. :( We hope you enjoy this recipe, and we do have several other recipes on the blog that are quick and easy (and many of them are crockpot recipes). We hope they help, and we wish you and your wife all the best!

  35. I live in Wisconsin, so I have had a lot of storms and blizzards throughout my life, and the best feeling besides myself cooking during these cold and windy times is memories while growing up of my mom cooking and filling up the house with smells of soups and stews!  But my all-time favorite “comfort” food would have to be one of those soups or stews mom always made  I guess at the top of my list is either cheesy cauliflower or cheesy potato soups  That’s the reason I am on this page right now getting your recipe for Ham and Cabbage soup….it really takes me back to another dish mama always made! I cannot make MY favorite all the time, can I???  

    • Thanks for sharing with us Rita, we hope you love this, although we’re not sure how it will compare to your mom’s recipe! :)

  36. When I just read the recipe above, I thought you were calling for a 12 (twelve) pound head of cabbage!!!  Gave myself quite a chuckle as the mental picture of that came to me!! Just wanted to share the laugh….

  37. My favorite comfort foods in cold weather is soup, stew and casseroles. I always make too much so I have lots of yummy leftovers. 

  38. I love bean and ham soup. But with our Christmas ham I began thinking I would like to make a different ham soup. This is it!!! And I always make my own broth. Day after tomorrow this is dinner. 

  39. Amazing recipe….very filling and yummo….thank you so much for including the ham broth recipe too….really great!!

  40. My go-to comfort food is Hamburger Stew. It’s just like beef stew, but the flavours mingle a little differently. So, so good!

  41. Great!!!

  42. Really really good. I love the texture, and with a chopper it’s simple to make. Thank you :)

  43. I meant to leave 5 stars, and please don’t use my last name.

  44. Great recipe, thanks! My fave comfort food is chicken and dumplings, like i had growing up so many times, made by my mother on our farm.

  45. My favorite comfort food is ham and scalloped potatoes(mine are more like au gratin) because I add cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Tim

  46. Great smell and taste! Love it, will make again.

  47. I am trying it tonite

  48. Almost any home made soup is great but cabbage type soup with ham is my favorite. I add some smoked sausage (kielbasa), or green beans or a few noodles or a potato or some other neat thing that I might find laying in the back of my fridge. I usually make it in an instant pot.

  49. I’m so making this

  50. My favorite comfort foods include creamy Mac and cheese and roasted stuffed chicken.
    Not only is the house is filled with great smells but leftover chicken for salad!
    Stuffing made with celery and onion.
    I have been using chicken stock and melted butter to moisten the stuffing.
    It’s everyone favorite.