I’m just back from Christmas in the redwood forests overlooking the Pacific on the northern Sonoma coast a few hours north of San Francisco.
Our Christmas dinner on top of the ridge included roast turkey and baked ham.
When I got ready to head back to San Francisco my hosts insisted I take leftovers with me, including a big hunk of ham. I got inspired to make this hearty soup today.
Whether you have a big piece of ham sitting in your fridge or not you can make this sumptuous “lucky” soup for your New Year’s table too. The beans represent the abundant good fortune that is in store for you in the new year.
Salty ham, creamy beans and silky sweet cabbage all in one bite, simple comfort food from heaven.
Add a glass of prosecco and a hunk of crusty bread and you’ve got yourself a wholesome light meal ready in less than an hour.
If you we’re overserved New Year’s Eve, this is the best remedy to settle your queasy stomach. The soup is even better the next day.
Buon appetito and Happy New Year!
- 1 15-oz can cannellini beans or 1 cup dried beans soaked over night
- ¼ pound baked ham, shredded or cubed (or get a thick slice of your favorite cooked ham)
- ½ head of cabbage, cut in half again and quartered
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 carrot, cut in half and sliced into thin half-moons
- 1 celery stalk with leaves, cut like the carrot
- ½ onion, sliced in half again and cut in thick slices
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 small branch fresh rosemary or 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups water
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Put the olive oil in a pot and over medium-high heat bring to a ripple.
- Add the carrots, celery, onions, garlic and a sprinkle of sea salt and sauté until the onions are translucent. (You don't want to pick up any color on the vegetables.)
- Add the beans and cabbage and mix everything together well.
- Add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
- When the cabbage leaves have wilted a bit add the water and bring a to a rapid boil.
- Simmer with the cover ajar until the cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the rosemary branch or bay leaf and serve hot with a sprinkle of finishing olive oil, chopped parsley and grated parmigiano reggiano.