Pic of Spring green, ham and bean broth

Spring green, ham and bean broth

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Soups & stews

Spring green, ham and bean broth

Serves 4 2h 20 min
Soaking and simmering the gammon takes a while, but it's worth it for the rich, salty flavour it brings to this springtime broth. Invigoratingly hearty, this broth is all you need for a main meal, perhaps with a hunk of bread for mopping up the juices. It reheats well, if you want to have it as a weeknight dinner. If you don't have time to soak the gammon, bring it up to the boil in a pan of water, then discard the water. Carry on as if you had soaked it overnight.


To cook the gammon:

  • 1kg whole uncooked gammon, soaked in a pan of cold water overnight
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • a few whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves

For the broth:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • leaves from 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1.2 litre veg stock
  • 2 large or 4 smaller potatoes, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 300g spring greens, tough stalks removed, leaves finely shredded
  • 400g tin cooked white beans
  • small handful wild garlic leaves, shredded (optional)
Image of Spring green, ham and bean broth


Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 2h
  • Step 1

    Drain the gammon and put back in the pan with the onion, carrot, celery, peppercorns and bay. Cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 1½ hours.
  • Step 2

    Drain the liquid (taste it first, if it isn't too salty you can use it for the broth instead of veg stock).
  • Step 3

    Leave the gammon until cool enough to handle, then cut in half, keeping one half for cold cuts. Dice the other, discarding any fat.
  • Step 4

    Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the sliced onions and thyme and fry gently for a few minutes.
  • Step 5

    Add the paprika, stock, potatoes and bay. Season.
  • Step 6

    Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.
  • Step 7

    Add the diced gammon, greens, beans and wild garlic if using. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Check the seasoning before serving.

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