Contains: Nightshades. Is: Grain-free, gluten-free, Paleo, Whole30.
Well, as any gardener or homesteader knows (those who live at higher latitudes, that is) into every year a killing frost must fall.
I had a very prolific cherry tomato plant – just one, actually. For future reference (at least on my part) it was an indeterminate Husky Cherry Red, and I’d grow this again. I received a lot of ripe red fruits over the past month or so, and there were many more green ones when the killing frost swept down and told me, sort of like Bugs Bunny, “That’s All, Folks!”
Scratched my noodle, and decided to turn some of the crop into soup.
Note, this recipe is extremely flexible. Whatever you have to hand may become a major ingredient here. All quantities listed in this recipe is approximate. This is about using what you have! Although it does assume you have some ham and/or pork, and that you have other veggies beyond the green cherry tomatoes. But vary things in and out as you see fit.
While I am recommending adding in some hardy greens into the soup – some of these do not need to be harvested just yet, but if you have access to (or are growing some), some indeed will add extra dimension to the soup.
The pork/ham base of this soup is complemented by a mirapoix – although I had no carrots to provide here. While I am not a fan of carrots (and don’t really plan to grow them, at least not until I’m working on selling my veggie crops), carrots do add extra nuance to a mirapoix – so feel free to throw a couple shredded carrots into this soup at the same time the celery goes in.
I add in the splash of vinegar to help the bones release nutrients and flavor – the amount of vinegar should be about two tablespoons, which is not enough to make the soup taste sour.
I use cloves as a seasoning as they complement ham/pork nicely.
I taste at the end for salt – evaporation while this cooks might make the soup too salty if added on the outset – besides, ham comes already salted.
The ham and pork in this recipe: Last year I acquired some pork from a local farmer (via a Facebook-originated pork share). It included a smoked ham. This year, I got a full half a porker, which arrived in August. I do have TWO new hams, so eventually we will see what happens to those (I’ll need company to share these with.) Anyhow, the old one had been prepped up and moved out of the freezer to make several meals – but there was still some left I had to re-freeze and await a future destination for it. Those portions became the ham for the current soup.
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes.
Cook Time: 4 – 5 hours.
Rest Time: Not needed.
Serves: 3 – 6.
Cuisine: Clearing the Harvest, Kitchen-Cleanout.
Ham & Harvest Green Tomato Soup
All ingredient amounts are approximate – this is partially an exercise in kitchen clean-out.
- Ham (leftovers, bone included if you have). About 3/4 – 1.25 pounds.
- Pork bones (about 1/2 a pound, more or less. Leftover from chops, roasts, or etc.
- 2-3 stalks celery
- 1 large onion (peeled and divided in half).
- 1-2 shredded carrots (I didn’t have so I didn’t use – but if you have…)
- A splash of apple cider vinegar.
- 1-2 teaspoons of ground cloves, or 1 generous tablespoon whole cloves.
- About 0.75 – 1 pounds of green tomatoes. Mine were cherries – halve this. Chop up any full-sized tomatoes to bite size, if using.
- About half a pound of potatoes (I used “baby-sized” – if larger, chop in half or quarters.)
- Half a bunch or so of turnip greens, chopped (other hardy greens such as beet greens, kale, or Swiss chard can work as well, or in addition to.)
- Salt and pepper to taste (you may not need the salt as the ham itself is salty).
- Optional parsley for garnish.
Cover ham, and pork bones, with water, bring to a boil. Meanwhile, prep the onion half (large chunks), celery (small bits), and any carrots. When the water with meat has reached a boil, reduce to a simmer and skim any scum off the top and discard. Add the onion, celery and carrots for the mirepoix. Add the cloves and the splash of vinegar.
Simmer, covered, for about 4 hours, checking and adding more water as necessary to keep the ingredients covered.
Remove meat and bones from the pot, remove any meat from any of the bones and reserve that meat. Discard bones and chop up the ham and any additional pork into small bits. Return meats to the pot.
Add green tomatoes (Cherries should be halved), potatoes, the other half of onion (chopped), and the greens.
Simmer for another 30 minutes. Taste, and add salt (if needed) and ground pepper (as desired). Serve, and garnish if desired with fresh parsley.
There are SO MANY modifications one can make to this basic recipe! Enjoy!
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