Lentil Coconut and Ham Hock Soup
A fragrant twist on the classic pea and ham soup, made with nutritious red lentils, fragrant coconut, kaffir lime leaves and smoked ham stock. In terms of procuring a ham hock (leg ham bone) you can ask your butcher or supermarket cold cut counter if they have and could hold a free-range ham bone for you.
Servings: 4 -6
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 leek sliced thinly
- 1 large carrot cut into chunks
- 2 celery sticks sliced roughly
- 4 fresh kaffir lime leaves
- 1 red long chilli seeds removed
- 1 stalk lemongrass bruised with the back of a knife
- 1 teaspoon each ground ginger, cumin, cardamom, coriander
- 1-1.5 kg smoked free-range ham hock with some meat on it leftover leg ham bone - see note
- 3.5 litres of filtered water
- 1 organic stock cube
- 2.5 cups red dried lentils
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
To make the ham hock stock:
Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a large cast iron (lidded) casserole dish (or crock pot / slow cooker) over medium heat. Add leek, carrot and celery sticks. Cook for a minute until the leek starts to become translucent. Add remaining coconut oil, kafir lime leaves, sliced chilli, lemongrass and spices and continue to cook, stirring, for another minute for them to become fragrant.
Add ham hock, water and the stock cube to the pan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low, cover with a lid and cook for 2 hours to infuse the stock.
(If saving the stock for later, strain it and freeze. You can leave the vegetables and ham meat picked off the bone in if you like also).
To make the Lentil Coconut and Ham Hock Soup:
With the stock still on the stove and the ham hock in, add lentils, sesame seeds and shredded coconut to the pot. Stir, cover with a lid and cook for a further 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils from burning to the bottom.
Once ready, remove the ham hock from the pot and pick off the meat - it should be tender and falling off the bone. Return the meat into the pot, stir, and serve.
Any remaining soup will freeze well.