Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lentil & Ham Hock Soup

  • 1 ham hock
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 6-8 celery stalks, diced
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, minced (to taste)
  • 900g green lentils
  • 6 cups chicken stalk  
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (optional)

  1.  Put everything in a large pot. Add enough water to cover ham hock. Stir well. Cover, and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook on low heat (just enough to keep it boiling) for approx. 2 hours, or until lentils are almost perfectly soft, and meat is falling off the bone.  You will need to add more water, lentils take in a lot of water when they expand.
  3. Remove ham hock, and allow to cool (20 minutes is usually enough).  Keep soup on low heat. Remove meat from bone.  Cut meat into bit-size pieces, discard the rest.
  4. Add meat back to soup. Heat through.
  5. Cook until lentils are soft. Remove Bay leaves as you find them (as eating or while potting).
Makes: over 20 cups of soup.

  • I always use chicken stock powder, bouillon cubes are just as good. Adding less instead of more is the best approach with this soup - ham hocks are salty!
  • Times are totally approximate. I usually just cook the soup until the lentils are almost done and the meat is falling off the bone, so I don't pay attention to time
  • Soups don't have to be exact. Sometimes I add the whole head of celery, it goes to waste otherwise, and adjust the carrots.  Sometimes I add more lentils (be careful with this, they expand like crazy!), and end up having two pots of soup. ha. 

This is Chris' favourite soup.  I don't like soup much, to be honest, so I don't really get it, but he just loves it.  Maybe it's the warm lunch in a cool work place. Maybe it's just the promise of solid food...I dunno.  But this is the one he asks for most often.

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