Thursday, February 8, 2007

Lentil Soup with Braised Ham Hock

This was a viewer request from a while ago for an easy lentil soup recipe. The key ingredient for my version is the smoked, and amazingly delicious, “ham hock.” For those of you not familiar with this piece of pork, here’s what Wikipedia, had to say (It’s Friday and I was feeling too lazy to actually explain what a hock was myself).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: “A ham "hock" is the end of a smoked ham where the foot was attached to the hog's leg. It is the portion of the leg that is neither part of the ham proper nor the foot or ankle, but rather the extreme shank end of the leg bone and the associated skin, fat, tendons, and muscle. This piece is generally comprised of too much skin and gristle to be palatable on its own, so it is largely used to be cooked with greens and other vegetables in order to give them additional flavor (generally that of pork fat and smoke), although the meat from particularly meaty hocks may be removed and served.”

If you’re new to soup making, this is a great one to start with since it’s almost impossible to screw up! It’s also very affordable. A little bit of lentils and ham hock goes a long way, and you can feed a very large group for just a few dollars.


2 cups dry lentils
2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart beef broth
salt to taste
fresh parsley


Chef Jeena said...

Mmmm your recipes look delicous!
you have Great blog from Jeena :)

visit jeena's kitchen healthy recipe blog

Anonymous said...

Whoo yeah!!! the 100th episode. Let's celebrate! ;) (martinis anyone?) jk jk

Anonymous said...

i should create a site where i use ham hock in everything, it really brings so much flavor to soups, broths etc... i like my hock

Anonymous said...

Excellent lentil soup. Nice home version like grandmothers would make. Very simple ingredients and very easy to make. This soup is much better than the other lentil soups that I have tried, most of which had a complicated list of ingredients.

Anonymous said...

what a cook you are Chef John!

Please do a cookbook and come to Chicago so I can have you sign it.

Love your recipes, every single one I have tried has been so simple, so good.

I am sure glad Planet Earth is graced with your presence.

Best wishes and happy fall you all.

Anonymous said...

Can I freeze this soup? What are the rules for freezing things?

Also I'm Irish and we don't use quarts. What would that equal in pints or mls?

Thank you for all your Cheffy knowledge

Happy Thanksgiving

Chef John said...

quart is 2 pints. and yes you can make an freeze this

G.A.R.T said...

What would you do with the Ham Hock skin if you didn't want to throw it away?

Chef John said...

Not sure.

mbh said...

how big is your le cruset pot?

Chef John said...

I think its 9 qt

BBJ said...

Do you think this will work in a 6.5 qt. Dutch oven? (Largest I have.)