Ham hock soup

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, duck fat or tallow or other fat
  • 2 onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 3 litres (12 cups) chicken stock, preferably homemade or salt-reduced, or water
  • 1 large smoked ham hock (1kg-1.2kg)
  • 2 each carrots and celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 turnip (150gm), peeled, cut into 1cm dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 300 gm pumpkin, such as butternut, peeled, cut into 2cm dice
  • 2 zucchini (330gm), cut into 1cm dice
  • 4 silverbeet leaves (about ½ bunch), stalks removed, coarsely torn
  • Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
  • To serve: chilli flakes
01   Heat oil or fat in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and stir occasionally until tender (3-5 minutes). Add stock or water, ham hock, carrot, celery, turnip, garlic and spices, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, adding more water as necessary to keep ham hock just covered, until meat is very tender (about 2 hours). Add pumpkin and cook for 10 minutes, then add zucchini, and simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender and meat is falling from the bone (15-20 minutes).
02   Remove ham hock from soup and, when cool enough to handle, shred or coarsely chop meat (discard skin and fat), add to soup, bring to a simmer, then add silverbeet and simmer uncovered until just wilted (2-4 minutes).
03   Serve soup warm, seasoned to taste with lemon juice, a generous grind of cracked pepper and chilli flakes.
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