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One of the best uses for the left over 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.
Spices used in this recipe
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