Friday, May 30, 2008

Ham Hock and Lentil Soup (with Homemade rolls, natch)

Time again for another Cooks Club Challenge. This one fit in well with our winter themed Soup Fridays:

Karen's Ham Hock and Lentil Soup
2 tb olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 stalks celery finely chopped
2 Pontiac potatoes cubed
2 carrots cut into small cubes
1 cup brown lentils
1 ham hock
2.5 lt chicken stock or water
1 lge handful of baby spinach
Juice of a lemon
Minted Yoghurt
1 cup greek style yoghurt
½ bunch fresh mint finely chopped
Combine yoghurt and mint and refrigerate.

Heat oil in a large, heavy based pan. Add onion and celery and cook until tender. Add the potatoes, carrot, lentils, ham hock, and stock and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 - 1½ hrs. Remove pan from the heat and take out the hock. Cool and trim meat from the bone, discarding any skin and fat. Bring soup back to the boil and add meat, spinach and lemon juice. Serve immediately with a dollop of minted yogurt and a wedge of warm herb damper.

I used water, because I had no stock, and I skipped the baby spinach and lemon for the same reason. Also I didn't bother with the yogurt because I wasn't sure the family would like it. Seems like a lot of effort, for something that tasted much the same as my mother's pea and ham soup, which doesn't have as many steps to it, but that could be because of all the things I left out too. At any rate, both kids finished their whole bowlful, even Master Four, who fusses over eating a whole bowl of soup, and DP and the housemate both said it was nice. DP only had one bowl, not two like he has with my cauliflower soup, but he is feeling a little under the weather, so that could be it.