I love soup, a meal in a bowl served with bread, simple satisfying food.
This soup is loved by children, full of flavour and a few hidden carrots! It is also great for school lunches, lots of goodness packed in to their thermos!
This recipe makes 4 litres, enough to serve 10-12 depending on your bowl size and whether you choose to water it down a bit! I always freeze half, it freezes really well and gives me an occasional night off!
2 ham hocks
1 onion, chopped roughly
1kg carrots, peeled and chopped
splash of olive oil
400g/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper
In a large stock pot or pressure cooker, place the ham hocks and add 2.5litres water.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour if using a stockpot. In a pressure cooker bring up to pressure and cook for 30mins.
Drain with a sieve over a large bowl or jug to catch all of the stock.
Once the hocks have cooled, strip off the meat, chop finely and set aside.
In a large pan, a 6 litre pan works well, warm a splash of olive oil and add onions and carrots, cook until onions are soft.
Skim any fat off the stock, make the stock up to 3 litres with water, add stock to the onion and carrot mix, stir and add the lentils.
Add the hock meat and bring up to the boil, simmer gently for 30-40mins when the carrots should be soft and the lentils falling apart.
Allow to cool slightly and then, using a hand held blender, liquidize completely. If using a liquidizer let the soup cool right down, soup splashes really burn!
Season well, we enjoy lots of pepper in this soup.
Serve with some nice crusty bread.
For a vegetarian version, omit the hock and use vegetable stock, add 2 teaspoons ground cumin and 4 teaspoons ground coriander while cooking the onions and carrots.