12 January, 2013

Ham Hock and Cabbage Soup

In Louisiana, this soup is often served for supper during winter months.

Marcelle's Mama's Ham Hock and Cabbage Soup ingredients
Makes 8 main course servings
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2-lb bacon, chopped
1 ham hock, about 1-lb
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
6 cups chopped cabbage, about 1.5-lbs
3 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1.5 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups Chicken Broth
3 cups peeled and cubed red potatoes, about 1-lb

Heat the oil in a large deep pot over High heat; add the bacon and fry until it is slightly crisp. Add the ham hock, onions and carrots; cook until the onions are slightly wilted, about 2 minutes.

Add the cabbage, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, salt and cayenne. Cook until the cabbage is slightly wilted, about 4 minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes; cover and cook until the cabbage and potatoes are soft and tender, about 1 hour.

Remove the ham hock from the soup; pick off the meat and add it to the soup. Skim off any fat that has risen to the surface and remove the bay leaves.

Serve warm in large bowls.

Marcelle Bienvenu's mother's recipe is published in Emeril Lagasse and Marcelle Bienvenu, Louisiana Real and Rustic (New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc, 1996), 53.

Page Last Updated 20 April 2015


  1. Very much like a soup I make but I never skim off the fat. For one thing, I don't use any extra oil for the vegs, since I use the fat from the ham. Once it all gets cooked, the fat is all mixed in the soup anyway, at least mine is. And from watching Emeril, my guess is personally he would leave the fat in his soup. That's what gives a soup "body". Another thing, my stock is made from a ham bone so I don't need chicken stock. Blah, blah, blah... I suggest adding some vinegar, Louisiana hot sauce or Louisiana peppers in vinegar to the dish after it has been served. Vinegar just adds so much to cabbage. You can also add some while cooking. Depends on your taste.

    1. (Sorry for our delayed posting-- must check settings.) Thank you for these suggestions. With a basket full of homemade infusions, I plan to try your vinegar suggestion.