Ham & Len­til Soup

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SERVES 4 PREP 15 min­utes COOK 2 hours + MAKE AHEAD You can make soup up to 3 days ahead. Store in an air­tight con­tainer in the fridge, or la­bel, date and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

1 ta­ble­spoon light olive oil,

plus 1 ta­ble­spoon ex­tra

850g ham hock

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves gar­lic, crushed

2 car­rots, finely chopped

3 cel­ery stalks, finely chopped 1 tea­spoon dried Ital­ian herbs

2.5 litres (10 cups) boil­ing wa­ter

4 large chicken stock cubes

375g packet French-style lentils

¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf pars­ley

1 Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over mod­er­ate heat. Add the ham; cook and turn for 10 min­utes or un­til browned. Trans­fer to a heat­proof plate.

2 Add ex­tra oil to pan; cook and stir the onion, gar­lic, car­rot, cel­ery and Ital­ian herbs for 10 min­utes or un­til soft. Stir in the boil­ing wa­ter and crum­bled stock cubes. Bring to the boil. Re­turn ham to pan. Re­duce heat; sim­mer, cov­ered, for 45 min­utes.

3 Stir lentils through ham mix­ture. Sim­mer, cov­ered, for a fur­ther 45 min­utes or un­til lentils are ten­der. Re­move from heat. Trans­fer ham to a chop­ping board. Care­fully re­move and dis­card skin. Re­move ham from bone; shred meat. Re­turn shred­ded ham meat to soup. Bring to the boil. Re­duce heat; sim­mer for 5 min­utes. Sprin­kle soup with pars­ley to serve.

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