Ham and Vegetable Soup
SERVES 8 AS A STARTER
4 TO 6 AS A MAIN COURSE
The Ham or Bacon
2 pounds (900 g) raw bacon or ham collar, soaked in cold water
for 24 hours
2 celery stalks
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 cups chicken broth or water
1 pound (450 g) carrots
6 celery stalks
1 pound (450 g) rutabaga
1 pound (450 g) parsnips
½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup olive oil
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tablespoons pearl barley (optional)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
To cook the ham or bacon, roughly chop all the vegetables into
½ inch (1.5 cm) dice and cook in the butter on medium-low for
about 5 minutes without letting them brown. Add the herbs, cover
and continue to cook until slightly softened. Keeping a lid on
the vegetables will create steam within the pan; this prevents
them from coloring and cooks them at the same time.
Pour on the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the bacon
or ham and bring back to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook for
about 45 minutes. Leave the meat to stand in its own cooking
liquid until cold. This part of the job can be done the day before
or in the morning. It keeps the meat moist and helps the stock
take on the maximum taste.
Remove the bacon or ham from the broth and cut it into ½ inch
(1.5 cm) dice. Strain the broth through a sieve.
To prepare the soup, roughly chop all the vegetables into ½ inch
(1.5 cm) dice, keeping the rutabaga and parsnip separate from
the others. Melt the butter in a large pan with the olive oil.
Add the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. Cover and cook for
2-3 minutes. Add the pearl barley, if using, and cook for another
2-3 minutes, stirring from time to time. Pour on the reserved
broth and bring to a simmer. Let the soup simmer gently until
the diced carrots are softened, about 20 minutes.
Add the diced rutabaga and parsnips and continue to cook for
another 10 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked. Add the
diced bacon or ham and season with salt and pepper.
Wine Recommendations by Wine.Com:
Henriques & Henriques Madeira, Sercial 10-Year-Old
1998 J.L. Chave Selections "Mon Coeur" Cotes-du-Rhone
Cookbook available in
Call 1-800-749-2290 for more information.