Winter warmers are needed right now. As I write this, it's currently 5 degrees outside. And to be honest, it doesn't feel much warmer inside! This ham and veggie soup is sure to get everyone warmed up, from the inside out!
Ham hocks- the why, the how
Ever looked at a ham hock and wondered how to use it? Well, these deliciously smoked meaty bones are the most awesome addition to your soup repertoire.
Basically they are best in any slow cooked soup, because you need to cook them long enough for all of the meat to soften and fall off the bone. Don't try cutting it off- it should shred off with a fork. If it doesn't, then pop it back in and give it half an hour more.
All the veggies
Soup is the perfect way to cram in as many veggies as you can. My kids love veggies, so I put everything into the soup, completely visible. I do however make sure they are all veggies that they like!
Adding baby spinach at the end adds texture and a freshness, something that soups often lack.
Can I freeze this soup?
Of course! But generally speaking I like to keep it in the fridge and have it for lunch the next day, especially now that we are mostly working from home, it's a quick lunch to reheat whilst working.
What pot should I use for soup?
I always err on the side of BIG. Whether it's a stock pot or just a really big saucepan, the last thing you want is your soup bubbling over! So make sure you dig out the biggest pot you've got!
Ham and veggie soup
- 1 ham hock approx. 1 kg
- dash of olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 carrots chopped
- 2 cups soup mix
- 2 litres chicken stock
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 1 stalk parsley
- 100 grams mushrooms chopped
- 3 handfuls baby spinach
- Place the ham hock in the bottom of a large pot with a dash of olive oil, over high heat.
- Fry on all sides for 1 minute per side.
- Add the onion to the pot and stir quickly, making sure it doesn't burn.
- Add the carrots, soup mix, chicken stock, celery, and parsley to the pot and bring to the boil.
- Make sure the stock is covering the ham hock. If it isn’t add some water.
- Cover and cook for 2 hours at a simmer.
- Remove the hock from the pot and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Using two forks, shred the meat from the hock.
- Add the mushrooms, baby spinach and the ham meat into the pot and simmer until the spinach has wilted and the mushrooms have softened. (5 minutes)