Ham and Cabbage Soup

Ham and Cabbage Soup is a family favorite that has been passed down through the generations. Turn a leftover meaty hambone into a dish that will have you going back for another bowl.

Ham and Cabbage Soup

This post has been updated with new pictures and such.

Whenever I see or smell ham and cabbage soup, I think about a brief moment in time (late 80’s perhaps?) when my parents dove head first into the “Cabbage Soup Diet” phenomenon. They had successfully kicked the smoking habit and were now determined to lose a few pounds and declare themselves in optimum health and cabbage soup was going to get them there. For the span of what seemed like a forever, there was a bottomless pot of cabbage soup bubbling away on the stove. The smell permeated everything in the house, including my parents, and I decided then and there that I despised cooked cabbage of any sort. In hindsight, I’m sure that the fad diet didn’t sustain itself for very long in our house since my own father cannot eat the same meal twice in one week much less 3 or 4 times a day, but nevertheless, cooked cabbage did not cross my lips until I was nearly 30.

Ham and Cabbage Soup

The catalyst that brought down my loathing of cooked cabbage was my husband’s ham and cabbage soup, a relic of his family that he brought into our marriage along with chicken tortilla casserole and Godfather meatloaf (the meal that stole my heart). The first time he made this soup I eyed it with suspicion, but it smelled delicious, so I steeled myself…and ate 2 bowls in one sitting.

Have leftover ham? Make some Gloriously Retro Ham Balls!

Fast forward a few years, and I now search for a reason to cook a ham so that we can make a vat of this ham and cabbage soup to sustain us for a good week. Maybe I’ll start my own “diet”, although I will keep the leftovers in the fridge.

Ham and Cabbage Soup

Click play on the video and let Blaine show you how to make this recipe from start to finish!

Did you love this recipe? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

Ham and Cabbage Soup in a bowl
3.74 from 15 votes
Print

Ham and Cabbage Soup

Ham and Cabbage Soup is an old family recipe that relies upon a hambone and a handful of chili powder for flavor. The combination of these simple ingredients is outstanding. 

Course dinner
Cuisine american
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 187 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 meaty hambone
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 whole carrot
  • ½ onion
  • 2 teaspoons beef base
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoons pepper
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • 1 small head cabbage cored and shredded
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cubed

Instructions

  1. In a stock pot, submerge the hambone, celery stalk, whole carrot and half onion in the water. Boil for 30-45 minutes or until the meat begins to easily fall off the hambone. Remove the hambone and vegetables from the broth. Discard veggies and shred the meat from the bone and set aside.

  2. Stir in the beef base, chili powder and salt and pepper to the ham broth and bring to a simmer. Add the diced onion, shredded carrot, bell pepper, cabbage and potatoes and simmer until the cabbage is tender and the potatoes are cooked through. Stir the shredded ham back into the soup to reheat. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Ham and Cabbage Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 187 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 505mg 21%
Potassium 832mg 24%
Total Carbohydrates 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 8g
Protein 10g 20%
Vitamin A 78.6%
Vitamin C 98.1%
Calcium 10.7%
Iron 10.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

jodiemo

Jodie is a wife, mom, writer and lover of chickens and gardens. She runs her family's winery by day and cooks and writes by night.

This Post Has 23 Comments
  1. Can’t seem to access your recipe for ham and cabbage soup. I so want to try it . It looks delicious! Is there any way you could e-mail it to me or post it again? Thanks so much, Diane

    1. I’m so sorry! I’ve been struggling with some technical issues lately. Here it is!

      Ham and Cabbage Soup
      Servings 8 -10 servings
      Ingredients
      1 meaty hambone
      12 cups water
      1 celery stalk
      1 whole carrot
      ½ onion
      2 t . beef base
      ½ T . chili powder
      ½ t . salt
      ½ t . pepper
      1 small onion diced
      1 green bell pepper diced
      ½ cup shredded carrot
      1 small head cabbage cored and shredded
      2 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
      Instructions
      In a stock pot, submerge the hambone, celery stalk, whole carrot and half onion in the water. Boil for 30 minutes or until the meat begins to easily fall off the hambone. Remove the hambone and vegetables from the broth. Discard veggies and shred the meat from the bone and set aside.
      Stir in the beef base, chili powder and salt and pepper to the ham broth and bring to a simmer. Add the diced onion, shredded carrot, bell pepper, cabbage and potatoes and simmer until the cabbage is tender and the potatoes are cooked through. Stir the shredded ham back into the soup to reheat. Serve and enjoy!

        1. Hi Belinda!
          Beef base is sort of like bouillon but its more like a paste. I believe Better Than Bouillon makes a beef base that you can find most anywhere.
          Hope that helps!

    1. You need a hambone. It makes the broth that makes this so delicious. Ask the guy at the meat counter if they have one you can buy. You would be surprised what they have back there.
      Great question! Thanks so much!

  2. I wasn’t blessed enuf to find a ham bone. So I used cubed or diced ham from grocery shelf. Hopefully, flavor wont be affected too badly! But the only time i wver cooked cabbage was for the annual St. PADDY’S day Corned beef meal. So, I like the soup idea, and I plan on making it tomorrow.

    1. You’ll be fine with that. If I were you, I would sub the water with a little chicken broth instead of trying to make ham broth with a bone. Just go from step 2. It should be pretty tasty. Not exactly like original but close.

  3. I’ve made this twice now and it’s excellent! I make cornbread and crumble it on top of the bowl when serving. Delish!! It was the perfect dish today since we had a snow day. If you’re thinking about making this, DO IT!

    1. Thank you so much for the excellent comment!!
      We always have cornbread with this soup. It’s the perfect accompaniment!

      1. I have a leftover ham/hambone.. it still has the skin.. do I eliminate that before or after boiling or does it matter? Thanks! My first time ever making this.. or any soup lol

        1. Hey Heather! Great question. The skin of the ham can stay on while you cook it. It’ll provide flavor and be easier to remove once it’s been boiled for a while. You’ll probably want to get rid of any dry tough skin pieces before you sit down to enjoy this soup. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

    1. Hi Lizzy!
      So, I’m no dietician but when I input all of the ingredients into MyFitnessPal, it gives me about 36g of carbs per serving. You could leave out or reduce the potatoes if you wanted to get it lower than that. It would still be delicious! Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.