Winter Vegetable & Ham Soup

Winter Veg & Ham Soup 008aThis healthy and hearty soup is packed with winter vegetables.
Basically a pumpkin-vegetable soup it is made more interesting with the addition of chard, beans and ham.

In season now, butternut is a pumpkin or winter squash with a
bulbous shape, yellow skin and orange flesh and sweet, nutty flavour – perfect for soup, but also great roasted, mashed or added to

When buying look for fruit with a hard, light tan, smooth skin. The fruit should feel heavy for its size without any soft spots or
blemishes. As with other pumpkin, if stored in a cool, dry place they should keep for several months.

Winter Vegetable & Ham Soup

Bacon could be used instead of ham. If using bacon, cook chopped bacon in a non-stick frying pan before adding to the soup.

For a vegetarian option, simply omit the ham.

Serves 4-6

1 medium butternut pumpkin (squash), or other pumpkin or winter squash of your choice, peeled and chopped – you should have about 1kg of chopped flesh
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium parsnip, chopped
2 medium leeks, sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp dried mixed or Italian herbs
6 cups chicken stock
440g can red kidney or other beans of your choice, drained and rinsed
200g ham, chopped or cut into strips
1 bunch rainbow chard or silverbeet, leaves and stems cut into 1cm thick slices
salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste

1              Place butternut, carrot, parsnip, leeks, celery, garlic, mixed herbs and stock in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or
until vegetables are tender.

2              Puree vegetable mixture using a hand blender or blender, if using a blender you may need to do this in batches.

3              Return pureed soup to clean saucepan and bring to
simmering. Add beans, chard and ham, bring back to simmering and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until chard wilts. Season to taste.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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