One of the best uses for the leftover Xmas ham is to make a hearty lentil or bean soup. I froze the ham bone after Xmas and with the cooler change in weather I thought I would make a ham and lentil soup. I have 2 other versions that are family staples in our house -ham hock and 3 bean soup and hearty split pea and ham soup.
I will share the other two with you over the coming winter months. In this homey ham and lentil soup, the addition of tasty condiments like garlic toast sour cream and crisp sunflower seeds lifts the dish to gourmet fare.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should we remove the skin from the ham hock?
The ham hock makes an absolutely delicious, rich and supportive soup. It is usually made with dried beans. The hock is then removed from the pot and, when it is cold enough to be handled, the skin is removed. Remove the fat between the skin and the meat and scrape off the excess fat from the skin.
Do you need to soak the ham hocks?
Most ham hocks are smoked and smoked and have a very salty flavour. To reduce the salt content and remove all impurities, a long wash or soak is required before using the ham for cooking. Thoroughly wash the outside of the hocks with a brush to remove visible dirt.
Is eating ham hocks bad for health?
Smoked ham hocks are a good source of protein and provide 17g per serving. Protein serves as a secondary source of fuel for your body and also plays other important roles in keeping your body functioning.
Does it ham hocks smell like?
You can smell the ham hock to discover the unpleasant or acidic odours that emit when the meat spoils.
What is the difference between the ham hock and the ham bone?
In other words, it is the joint that attaches the pig’s ham to the leg. The hock is not part of the ham or part of the foot or trotter but rather the extreme end of the femur. Although the ham bone and the hock are two different parts of a pig, you can often use them interchangeably.
How do you know that ham hock has gone bad?
If the ham hock smells sour or fermented after opening, or if a sticky, slimy liquid leaks out, it should be discarded.
Spices used in this recipe
Bay Leaves Dried Whole
Bay leaves are oval-shaped leaves from the Bay Laurel tree. They have a warm and pungent aroma with an aromatic and slightly bitter flavour. They are used in a wide variety of cuisines from around the world, from European to Indian and everything in between.$3.45
Thyme leaves is a perennial herb from the mint family originally native to the southern Europe and Mediterranean regions, and a great ingredient for daily cooking. Its dried leaves are gray-green leaves, and it has an herbaceous, minty, light-lemon aroma and mint and lemon flavour. It can be added to soups, stews, clam chowder, stuffing, gumbos, heartier sauces, sausages, roast chicken or pork, and many vegetable dishes, or fish. Its mint-like flavour that pairs well in most dishes. Its characteristic astringency counteracts rich and fatty foods.$3.45
Mustard powder is made when the yellow seeds are finely milled, and are used more often than the whole seeds as it provides more flavour with less effort. Mustard powder has a mild and slight sweet flavour and pungent aroma. The powder can be mixed with water to form a mustard paste to flavour bbq meats. It releases an earthy aroma when cooked and a savoury and tangy taste. Yellow powder is commonly used in the Western cuisine. It is key ingredient in the Indian blend Panch Phora.
Rosemary is a large Mediterranean shrub with needle-like leaves and with a strong lemony pine aroma and pungent flavour. It is mostly used in French, Spanish, and Italian cuisines especially when cooking lamb and chicken. It is a key ingredient in the French blend Herbs de Provence. It has many health benefits and also it has been used for medicinal purposes.$3.45
Sea Salt Flakes White
Salt is not a spice specifically but one of the most common condiments required for seasoning and a key ingredient in any pantry. Sea Salt flakes are used to flavor various recipes both savory or sweet. Australian Sea salt is obtained using a more complex process than table salt, which includes evaporating seawater. Due to this process sea salt contains trace minerals and nutrients that table salt does not have. Our sea salt is specifically obtained from the Great Barrier Reef. Sea salt flakes have a soft and sheer texture. The flakes can easily dissolve over the food.$6.95
Pepper Black Ground
Black Pepper is picked from the flowering vine of the peppercorn plant and is the most pungent and flavoursome variety of Pepper. Black peppercorns are picked green and then dried to 12% moisture content. When ground, its grey in colour as the seed inside is white. It has a woody flavour with a spicy heat and it is used in all cultures and types of cuisine especially in Moroccan and Middle East cooking. Pepper is used in all cultures and all types of cuisine. Also, it is known for improving digestion.
The Spice People carry these pepper products: pepper black whole, pepper black ground, pepper black cracked, pepper white whole, pepper white ground, pepper green whole, pepper lemon, pepper mill mix.
main image via thewoodenspoons.com
Heat oil(butter ) in a pan and add chopped onion, garlic, celery, carrots . Saut’e 5 mins
Add the ham hock, lentils, stock, water , thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and mustard powder. bring to the boil and simmer for 2-21/2 hours until the ham fall off the bone.
Lift out he ham hock and let cool slightly.
Remove the ham from the bone and tear into small chunks .discarding any excess large pieces of fat. Place the ham pieces back into the pot. Add the parsley
For a slightly thicker style soup . after you have removed the ham hock bone but before you put back in the ham chinks. whirl about half the mixture in a food processor or blender . put back in with the rest of the soup and ham pieces.
Serve with crusty warm bread and condiments such as toasted sunflower seeds and a sprinkling of fresh parsley