Lentil and ham soup

Ok, it’s really a ham hock and lentil soup. But you don’t call it pea and ham hock soup do you? I’ve never cooked with ham hock in my life. But after hearing Miss Jamaica harp on about it for months, I decided to give it a go. I also used some lentils that I, like everyone else, panic bought when supermarket shelves were empty and I will say that lentils are no longer classed as a “only use when desperate” item in my pantry.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups water
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 ham hock
  • 1 cup dried lentils. Any type. I used McKenzie’s 12 blend soup mix.
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 potato, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven
  2. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook till soft (7-10 mins)
  3. Add bay leaf and garlic and stir for 1-2 mins, then add hock, stock and enough water to cover the ham hock.
  4. Cover and cook on medium heat for 45 mins.
  5. Add lentils, cover and cook for another 1 hr, adding more water to cover hock if required.
  6. Add potatoes, and remove pot lid and evaporate liquid for 15min or until desired consistency. You’ll need to stir frequently at this stage as the lentils will settle at the bottom of pot and burn otherwise.
  7. Remove hock, shred the meat, and garnish the soup with it.

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