This is definitely my most favourite soup for the winter. It’s my grans recipe so it always reminds me of her – she’d always pop in from next door with a saucepan full of hot soup for us during the winter. It’s literally the most simple ingredients but it’s so tasty. Just a little warning though, you really don’t need to add any salt to it, as the salt will come out from the meat. Ours turned out way too salty this time, so we had to add another liter or so of water after cooking it to reduce the saltiness haha! Also, using a ham hock will turn out better, but the gammon can be used in place too. We actually used bacon ribs from the farmers market this time as they’d ran out of everything by the time we got there haha.
Small ham hock/gammon joint
1 large onion
2 celery sticks
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1-2 liters of water
1.5 cups red lentils
1. In a large pan, add the ham hock and cover to the top with water. Leave that to cook through for an hour or two depending on the size of it. This will create a lovely stock.
2. When the ham hock is almost done and the stock has reduced down a little, remove the meat and add in the vegetables and washed red lentils. Cook for another 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Once the meat has cooled a little, strip the meat off the bone and stir back into the soup. Serve up with some fresh buttered bread. Our favourite to go with this is a baguette or sourdough. Enjoy!
It is literally the simplest soup ever, though it does take a while to cook, but it is definitely worth it. Sometimes for a little variation, I like to add in a teaspoon of tomato puree at the beginning with the meat and a teaspoon of oregano and parsley. It gives it a little more of an earthy taste.