Everyone should have a wholesome wintery soup in their repertoire. Whether it’s your health or your soul that needs restoration, this super-food laden soup is exactly what is needed to help you through this week's chilly temperatures. Simmering on the stove, a soup fills your home with nourishing warmth and plenty of goodness, all the more reason to get this pot of soup on the go! Ham hocks are so great to cook with, not only are they a super sustainable secondary cut of meat but they also imbue the rest of the dish with their smoky goodness and create a rich, silky textured broth which, thanks to the hock bone, is full of vitamins and minerals. Paired with cheesy toast, and accompanied with a rich bottle of Ale or textural glass of white, this is the ultimate in mid-week-mid-winter soul food.
HAM HOCK, LENTIL AND CAVALO NERO SOUP
1 TABLESPOON OLIVE OIL, PLUS EXTRA, FOR DRIZZLING
1 BROWN ONION, CHOPPED
2 CLOVES GARLIC, SLICED
1.4KG HAM HOCK
6 LITRES WATER
1 CUP (280G) TOMATO PURÉE (TOMATO PASSATA)
8 SPRIGS THYME
6 SPRIGS PARSLEY
2 STALKS CELERY, TRIMMED AND CHOPPED
1 CARROT, PEELED AND CHOPPED
1 SWEDE, PEELED AND CHOPPED
1 TURNIP, PEELED AND CHOPPED
1 CUP (200G) PUY LENTILS
1½ CUPS (270G) MACARONI
300G CAVALO NERO, STEMS REMOVED AND CHOPPED
SEA SALT AND CRACKED BLACK PEPPER
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 4–5 minutes or until softened. Add the ham hock, water, tomato purée, thyme and parsley and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour. Remove the thyme and parsley and discard. Remove the ham hock and allow to cool slightly.
Increase heat to medium, add the celery, carrot, swede, turnip and lentils and cook for 30 minutes. Shred the ham meat and set aside. Add the pasta to the soup and cook for a further 8 minutes. Add the cavalo nero, shredded ham, salt and pepper and cook for 1–2 minutes or until the cavalo nero is softened. Drizzle with extra oil to serve. There you have it, a fairly simple yet, hearty and nourishing meal for a cold winter’s day!
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