Monday, January 12, 2015

Ham and Turnip Stew

Ham and Turnip Stew

Ready in about half an hour, this tasty stew has turnips and carrots simmered with a meaty ham bone.

I appreciate the readers on my Facebook page!  I couldn't decide which recipes to post this week and posted a list of options. Sandy chose this recipe, so here it is! I apologize for the poor quality photos--I expected this would make a leftover that I could photograph for lunch in natural light, but we cleaned the pot out. You're getting a quick pic that was snapped at our dinner table.  Simon thought it smelled delicious as well.
The other dogs are too short to have 4 paws on the floor and reach the table.
I've been on a mission to use what I've got in the fridge, freezer, and pantry lately. One of the issues with hating to waste food is the accumulation of items. For example, if we eat ham for dinner, we'll enjoy the leftovers in sandwiches, quesadillas, meatballs and/or pizza. There's usually still a chunk of ham left and we're hammed out, so into the freezer it goes. Ditto the ham bone. Normally I'll make {No Salt Added} Ham & Bean Soup with the bone, but I found a spare ham bone while rooting around in the freezer [I know, everyone should be so lucky].

On a whim, and why there are no 'ingredient' or 'process' photos, I grabbed some of the ubiquitous turniips from the crisper and made a quick stew. Turnips are one of the cool season crops that grow really well for our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers, so we get a bunch when they are in season. The saltiness of the ham bone plays nicely with the sweet turnips and this stew was gobbled up. I'm remembering this one for Fall, since I'm always looking for ways to enjoy turnips.

For more recipes using turnips, please see my Turnip Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index.

Ham and Turnip Soup/Stew (serves 4-5)

1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
½ cup chopped leeks
1 cup chopped carrots
¼ cup chopped celery, with leaves
2 to 3 cups chopped peeled turnips
1 meaty ham bone
6 cups water
1 bay leaf

Preheat a pretty purple pot (Amazon affiliate link) or other large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat and add oil and leeks. Stir to coat with fat while you prep the carrots, celery, and turnips, adding each vegetable to the pot with a stir as they are ready. Once everything has had a chance to soften for about 5 minutes, add the ham bone, water, and bay leaf.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, then uncover and remove the ham bone. Simmer the vegetables another 10 minutes until they are completely soft.
Chop any remaining ham off the bone (I got about 1½ cups) and return the meat to the pot. You can serve now, or this can hang out on low, thickening and concentrating the flavors, for another half hour while you wait for everyone to get home for dinner.

Note:  I didn't think the ham bone was 'spent' after a mere 20 minute simmer, so I saved mine to flavor a pot of white beans. I made a warm white bean, spinach, and bacon dip with those beans. Recipe to come--my mom said it was a keeper.

This post is linked with What's Cookin' Wednesday


  1. Another great meal born out of leftovers. I actually really enjoy have extras laying around now because it gives me a jumping off point for my next meal.

    1. Meghan,
      It's so much easier to think up a dish if you have something to go on, I think. And time to think--I got an idea for a chili while driving to Columbus for hockey. Luckily I had my son make a note in the phone before I forgot the details.
      I always hate when I have an excellent idea, then don't remember the specifics and only know that it was an excellent idea.

  2. Yum!! I hear you on the hating to waste food part - my freezer is overflowing!

    -Julie @ Texan New Yorker

    1. Julie,
      I'm starting to think the only way I can truly eat down my freezers would be to order in my groceries. Every time I go to the store I see a great deal on _______, or a marked down package of __________ and next thing you know I've got a cart when all I came in for was milk.

  3. I too,have been on a mission to use what I've got in the fridge, freezer, and pantry lately. Hence we eat a lot of lentils, barley and whatever random Winter veggies show up. There's been plenty of sweet potatoes and beets - hence the reason I'm going to have to make that nacho recipe you posted they other day. That and because it looked friggin delicious. I big heaping pile of yum. I feel like maybe I should be commenting there? But this is the post I just read and I also like stew. So count me in for both.

    1. Kristy,
      I have annotated the spreadsheet to show that you've commented on both.

      As if I keep a spreadsheet.

      Apparently I should be doing that for Pinterest, or other social media, but it's not a strong suit nor a priority for me so I'll just let it slide as usual.

      I've had a hankering for beans, but instead of barley I've got cous cous in my pantry. More to come with that.