I say that as if it actually feels like fall outside.
I wish I could be one of those bloggers that can say, “Oh it’s so chilly out. Time for soup!” Nope, not in Texas. We are in record heat for this time of year. For all of you northerners, that means at the end of October, we’re still probably warmer than your summer. But, for reasons unbeknownst to me, the season still begs for something simple, warm and comforting.
Hunting season is also tapping at our door. This means I stare at the deep freezer in awe of how much meat we still have left from last season. I noticed that our GIANT (read: GIANT) smoked hog ham has lost its vacuum seal.
“Honey! You in the mood for smoked ham for the next eternity?”
When I say this thing is GIANT, I really mean “I don’t know what the flip to do with 8 pounds of ham not counting the bone.” Don’t worry, I will have a lot of recipes coming in this area for other people that suffer from this affliction. Or at least for people that suffer from the “post-holiday leftover ham” affliction. To start? Throw it in the soup pot.
Here, I did a take on traditional collard greens and turned it into a simple soup by adding some broth and plain potatoes. To call it rustic is almost too fancy. This is nothing fancy, but simple and comforting nonetheless. It will be great on a chilly evening (if you actually get chilly evenings) after daylight savings has turned and it gets dark earlier. The great part is that it’s so fast and easy, and, because of the flavor and saltiness of the ham it requires very little seasoning. Let the ham sing in this dish. I added thyme just for a little woodsiness, but if you’re out of thyme or forgot to get some you can probably leave it out without much of a sacrifice.
Hog Ham and Potato Soup
- 1 Large onion (diced)
- 1/2lb wild smoked hog ham (cubed)
- 1 bunch collard greens (rough stems at the bottom trimmed, otherwise roughly chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (1/2 T dried if you do not have fresh thyme)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 Large red potatoes (cubed into bite sized pieces)
- salt and pepper to taste
|Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add the cubed ham. Cook until the fat renders out and the ham pieces start to get a little brown. Add the onions with a small pinch of salt and thyme and continue to cook until the onions become translucent.|
|Add the chopped collards with about 1/2 cup of the broth. Cover and simmer until wilted, about 15 minutes. Then add the potatoes and the rest of the broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender.|
Non-game substitution: Regular ham!