Riverford Wicked Leeks
Spring green, ham and bean broth recipe image

Print Spring green, ham and bean broth

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.


  • For cooking 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)


  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.
  2. Drain the liquid (taste it first, if it isn’t too salty you can use it for the broth instead of veg stock).
  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.
  4. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the sliced onions and thyme and fry gently for a few minutes.
  5. Add the paprika, stock, potatoes and bay. Season.
  6. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.
  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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