Cabbage Soup with Smoked Ham and Tripolini

Cabbage Soup with Smoked Ham and Tripolini

Cabbage Soup with Smoked Ham and Tripolini

It may not sound like a particularly exciting piece of culinary enterprise, yet I can assure you this is a soup worth making this winter.  Hearty, healthy and veritably erupting with flavour, it will make work lunch times something to savour and cold evenings something to welcome.  Tripolini is a posh name for tiny cupped bow-tie shaped egg pasta for soup.  Use whichever shape you like!

½ a Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
1 leek, finely chopped
2 tablespoons each of finely chopped rosemary and parsley
3 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
1 celery stick, peeled and very finely chopped
1 zucchini peeled and finely chopped
4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
100 grams smoked Ham, cut into little pieces
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 spring onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups chicken stock
Cracked black pepper
Generous pinch of nutmeg
A little olive oil
Juice and zest of a lemon
1 cup of Tipolini egg pasta for soup

In a very deep soup pot, warm through the butter with the nutmeg and cumin and a little olive oil then add the leek and rosemary.  Allow the leek to sweat down then add the zucchini, celery and the garlic.  Cook until fairly soft then add the potatoes and the ham.
Cook until the ham starts to colour slightly then deglaze the pan with the vinegar.  Stir in the stock and mustard and bring to a simmer.

Cook the vegetables down in the stock until the potatoes are soft and tender, then add equal amounts of water to the existing stock in the pot (about 2 to 2 ½ cups).  Smash up some of the potatoes to thicken the soup and make the liquid more viscous,  leaving some potatoes chunky.

Cabbage Soup with Smoked Hame and TripoliniAdd the pepper and lemon zest, then add the Tripolini (or other tiny soup pasta).  Stir through well and cook for about a minute.

Lastly add the cabbage with the spring onion and lemon juice.
Taste the soup, adjust as necessary.  The ham can make the soup a little salty so make sure there is adequate water to balance the flavours.
Simmer the cabbage only long enough to soften, not to break it down completely, there should be some crunch left in the larger pieces.

Serve with plenty of fresh bread and a sprinkling of herbs on top.  That's my Cheese and Walnut Stout Bread pictured, it goes a treat with this soup!