Photo: Marcus Nilsson; Styling: Angharad Bailey
Hands-on Time
25 Mins
Total Time
9 Hours 30 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 cup soup and 1 bread slice)

The key to the rich flavor of this peasant soup is the smoked ham hock. Be sure to purchase a meaty cross-cut hock (which looks like an osso buco-cut shank); other hocks offer little meat. Or look for a smoked pork shank. The soup-stew is so thick with beans, leeks, root vegetables, and cabbage that you can almost eat it with a fork. And it's the type of dish that gets better with each successive reheating.

How to Make It

Step 1

Sort and wash beans. Place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans. Cover and let stand for 8 hours or overnight. Drain.

Step 2

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; swirl to coat. Add onion. Cover and cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add leek and chopped garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add soaked beans, stock, herbes de Provence, ham hocks, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beans are just tender. Remove ham hock; cool slightly. Pick meat from bones; reserve meat. Discard bones and fat.

Step 3

Add potatoes, turnip, and carrot to pan; cook 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in cabbage; simmer 4 minutes. Stir in parsley, thyme, vinegar, salt, and black pepper.

Step 4

Rub toast slices with cut sides of garlic clove; spread evenly with butter. Serve toast with soup.

Ratings & Reviews

Gibby007's Review

February 21, 2014
Wow - this was way better than I expected since I'm not a fan of ham and bean soups. I had a ham bone left from a holiday ham and was looking for some kind of soup to make with it that I would like. Since this had good reviews I decided to try it. I made it exactly to the recipe except I used a regular ham bone vs. a ham hock and I used low sodium chicken broth vs. no sodium. It was a little saltier than I would like so no salt broth would probably be better but over all it was still great. I will definitely make this again. As long as you remember to soak the beans ahead of time it was easy enough to make even after work. I had never used turnips or savoy cabbage before so nice to try something new.

Onecentinvegas's Review

September 25, 2013
Made this for dinner last night and it was way YUMMY! I had a hambone leftover in the freezer, so I used that instead of a ham hock and threw in a handful of green beans I had in the fridge, but otherwise followed the recipe. Threw everything in the slow cooker and went to work. Husband kept saying how delicious it was as he snarfed it down. Served with ciabatta rolls. Definitely delicious and something I'd make again if I had another meaty hambone in the freezer--one ham hock doesn't sound meaty enough for me.

ROBN4409's Review

March 18, 2013
This is a great, hardy soup! I added a bit more of each vegetable and served with fresh baked bread, YUM!

liafinney's Review

February 07, 2013
This was a really nice change of pace. I've been making stews and soups all winter to make up for 6 yrs in the tropics when we couldn't eat anything that heavy and really enjoying it. This was just enough off the beaten track of the regular rotation to stand out and loved the european style of tons of veggies, esp the cabbage and turnip. Does make a lot and I doubt it would freeze particularly well, but you do get a couple of meals out of it, which is always a plus. I also drizzeled a bit of EVOO on it, but didn't bother with any cheese.

bjane1's Review

January 09, 2013
Tried this recipe upon the recommendation of my sister. had a delicious unusual flavor. Used Italien seasoning for the herbs de Provence, skipped the turnips, but added kale. I will definitely make this again!

ankicadeenka's Review

October 24, 2012

MeganHambone's Review

October 10, 2012

Nancy91361's Review

October 04, 2012
ajvogt - You may not have peeled your turnips deeply enough. When you cut into the turnip, you will see a line about 1/4 inch under the skin. If you peel beyond this line, the result should be a sweet turnip. Hope this helps!

ajvogt's Review

September 27, 2012
My review is more about the turnips than the recipe but I thought it might be helpful for someone else. My turnips were extremely bitter and ruin the entire dish. If I made it again I would omit them. It was very dispointing. I am not sure how to avoid bitter turnips. Maybe someone else has some advise?

Namaste's Review

September 15, 2012
Absolutely wonderful! I forgot the herbs de Provence so I made without and it was still fabulous. My grocer was out of smoked hamhocks so I used cubed diced ham and it was still excellent. Would be good to double and freeze since it takes a little effort.