Dianne's Bacon Hock Soup!
Simply Soup competition winner Dianne from Auckland shares her 'hearty and homely' bacon hock soup!
Dianne writes: It's a hearty, homely soup, which seriously warms in winter. Serious comfort food with loads of flavour. It's even better the next day, and any left overs can be used as a base for the next days pot, which will be even better, just add more potatos, carrots, what ever, and some more water. It's also a very low budget meal, the hock is the most expensive part about $7-9 for a good size one, and it will easily feed a family with a chance of seconds, depending on how big you make it in the start. My husband says it's a bomb, and he is always happy with it's the time of the season for this soup.
Bacon Hock Soup
1 smoked bacon hock (choose one that smells nice and smokey)
Water to cover
1/3 cup approx soup mix
2-3 sticks of celery
Put hock and soup mix in a large pot and cover with cold water.
Bring to a rolling boil.
Scoop scum off the top with a slotted spoon.
Boil for a good half an hour, at least, this will soften the hock, cook the soup mix and bring out the yummy smokey bacon flavor.
Now you can either leave in this pot, depending on how long you have, or you can do as I like too, and transfer to a slow cooker.
Peel and chop in decent size chunks the potato. Peel and roughly chop the carrots (not too big), roughly chop the celery, and peel and cut the onion into about 6-8 pieces. This is a homely rustic soup which will cook a long time, so not too small and pretty.
Once all ingredients are in the slow cooker (or in the pot if you want) turn to high, so it will simmer for a minimum of 1 hour, but in the slow cooker I will leave for 4-5 hours.
Check it from time to time as you will get fat rising, scoop this off and give it a stir, just so things move around.
After about an hour or so the hock will be soft enough to remove the meat, so take it out, take off the meat, remove the skin and bone, chop the meat roughly, then put it all back into the pot (even the skin and bone, it's all flavour)
It's ready when it looks thicker, no longer watery, but taste as you go and when you are ready, then serve with crusty bread.
This is a personal choice soup, so have it as thick or thin as you like.
By Dianne McKenzie