- 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)
- Put everything in a large pot. Add enough water to cover ham hock. Stir well. Cover, and bring to a boil.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add meat back to soup. Heat through.
- Cook until lentils are soft. Remove Bay leaves as you find them (as eating or while potting).
- 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.