Monday, 11 July 2016

Winter Comfort: Ham and Vegetable Soup

Soup is the ultimate Winter meal, nourishing and filling and comforting. What could be better than a deep bowl of warm soup that's full of flavour and goodness and love? We returned home from our holiday in the tropical north to cold and windy Wintery days. I spent one of those days cooking, baking and making this delicious soup!

 A bowl of warm and nourishing soup makes a wonderful Winter meal.

I made this soup based on a recipe for Pea and Ham Soup. I always adapt it to suit what's in my pantry and fridge. I didn't have any split peas this time around so I used up some soup mix instead. Soup is very versatile like that!  Here how I made this one:

Ham and Vegetable Soup 

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 sticks celery, chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
4 cups water (approximately)
4 bay leaves
leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
11/2 cups soup mix
1 ham hock
2 cups roughly chopped root vegetables (potato, carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato)
salt and pepper

1.  Warm oil in a large soup/stock pot.
2.  Soften chopped onion and celery in oil.
3.  Add stock, water, bay leaves, thyme leaves, soup mix and ham hock.
     * Add more water, if necessary, to cover ham hock.*
4.  Bring to boil then simmer for half an hour.
5.  Add chopped root vegetables and continue to cook until veggies and soup mix are soft.
6.  Remove ham hock and cool before removing the skin and shredding the meat.
7.  Add shredded ham back into soup.
8.  Discard bay leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper.
9. Serve generous portions in deep bowls with warm and buttery bread. 

Flavour in this soup develops from the ingredients and time that go into making it.  It really is delcious!

 Soft onion and celery in warm oil.

 A flavoursome vegetable stock to cook ham and veggies in.
 Delicious root vegetables add lots of goodness!
Herbs like thyme add even more flavour.
And salty, smoky ham, of course!

I hope you'll have time to cook yourself a batch of warm, nourishing soup this Winter. The flavour and goodness in homemade soup far surpasses tinned or packet soups and the love and time that goes into making a soup is evident in the bowl too!



  1. YUM! That looks great, I can almost smell it from here. Soup is a bit hit and miss on my menu, I love it, but the rest of the family are so fussy about it, that I don't make it very often, but in Winter I could eat it weekly, no problem!

    1. It tastes as good as it looks, Cheryl. Maybe you could make yourself some soup. You could freeze individual portions to have for your lunch:)