Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ham, Bean and Cabbage Soup

I ran across this recipe when looking through our Athlete's Palate Cookbook, a book I got last year when we were training for our first marathon. We used several of the recipes then, and as we're training again for the Tacoma City Marathon in May, I brought it back out to see if I could locate some good training and/or recovery recipes. You know how I love a good soup, and this one is so very comforting with the chunks of ham, soft, mushy beans and the tender cabbage leaves floating around in the tasty broth. I made one minor adjustment to this soup - there was no acid in it and this soup hearkens back to the good old Bean and Bacon soups of my childhood, so what could better complement it than a little Apple Cider Vinegar? I added about a tablespoon at the end, cooked it through and what a difference it makes! My mother, the original-vinegar-in-bean-soup queen, would be proud. Try this one out, Mom!

Ham, Bean and Cabbage Soup
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1.5 tsp Italian seasoning (rub it in the palm of your hand before adding to the soup)
2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 small cabbage, cored and cut into bite-sized shreds
12 oz. lean ham steak, finely diced
1 quart chicken broth
1 can petite-diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
2 cans (15-16 oz) white beans, undrained
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp good apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar)

1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a soup kettle or large pot. Add the onion and cook stirring frequently, until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Add the carrots, cabbage, ham steak, chicken broth, tomatoes and beans. Bring to a full simmer. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, partially covered, until the veggies are just cooked, about 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley, if using. Add the apple cider vinegar. Stir and simmer for 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve.

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