Kale, ham and pasta soup
Thank heaven for Neven! Neven Maguire’s Complete Family Cookbook will be a lifesaver in every family’s kitchen. Our families are the most important people in our lives, so when it comes to mealtimes we want to give them the best we can. This new definitive collection from Neven Maguire gives you all the inspiration and help you’ll need to get more of the good stuff into your family’s diet and make homemade food the heart of your home. This kale, pasta & ham soup is so comforting, perfect for warming you up on a wintry day.
I just love the simplicity of this dish, with kale, ham and pasta in a great stock. It’s so comforting, perfect for warming you up on a wintry day, and it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes from start to finish. It’s a great way to use up some leftover cooked ham or ham hock, making a little go a long way.
Serves 6 - 8
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
175g (6oz) kale, tough stems removed and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1.75 litres (3 pints) chicken stock (see below)
250g (9oz) short pasta, such as macaroni or gemelli
200g (7oz) cooked ham or ham hock, shredded
juice of ½ lemon
sea salt and freshly ground
finely grated Gruyère cheese, to garnish
crusty baguette, to serve
1 Heat a large pan over a medium heat and add the rapeseed oil. Tip in the onion and sauté for about 10 minutes, until soft and translucent and just beginning to turn golden. Add the kale and garlic, stirring to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer, then cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure everything cooks evenly.
2 Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 10 minutes, until al dente (tender but still with a little bite). Drain well, stir into the kale mixture along with the ham. Heat gently for 2–3 minutes to allow the flavours to combine.
3 Add a squeeze of lemon to the soup and season to taste, then ladle into bowls and scatter over the Gruyère cheese. Serve with chunks of the baguette.
I use this chicken stock more than any other type of stock, as it makes the perfect base for soups, stews and sauces. It freezes well, so I always have some to hand. I normally make it when we’ve had a roast chicken for dinner. This can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, or you can freeze it in 600ml (1 pint) cartons and defrost it when you need it.
Makes about 1.2 litres (2 pints)
1 large raw or cooked chicken carcass, skin and fat removed and bones chopped
2 leeks, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
handful of fresh parsley stalks
1 tsp white peppercorns
1 If using a raw chicken carcass, preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/gas mark 7) and roast the carcass in a tin for about 40 minutes, until golden. Drain through a colander to get rid of any excess fat, then chop it up.
2 Place the chopped-up chicken carcass in a large pan and cover with 1.8 litres (3¼ pints) of cold water. Bring to the boil, then skim off any fat and scum from the surface. Reduce the heat to a simmer and tip in all the remaining ingredients.
3 Simmer gently for another 1–1½ hours, skimming occasionally and topping up with water as necessary. Taste regularly to check the flavour. When you’re happy with it, remove from the heat and pass through a sieve. Leave to cool and remove any fat that settles on the top, then store in the fridge in a plastic jug with a lid and use as required.
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