It takes time to cook Ham Hock until soft and that’s the down side of this soup. However, Ham Hock makes an excellent stock. Cook Vegetables and Beans in the stock until soft. That’s basically how to cook Ham Hock Soup. You can cook Dried Split Peas in the stock to make the popular Pea & Ham Soup. You can use Potato instead. Today I used Cannellini (White Beans). Ham Hock Soup is easy to cook. It just takes time, but there is a way to reduce the cooking time. Read ‘Method 2’.
1 Ham Hock *Today it weighed 1.1kg
6 cups (1.5L) Water *add more if required
1 large Onion *cut into chunky pieces
2 cloves Garlic *squashed
Some thin stalks and leaves of Celery
1 Bay Leaf
2 Carrots *cut into small pieces
2 Celery Stalks
1 large Potato *OR Cannellini (White Beans), Lentils, Split Peas, etc.
*Note: You can use 1/2 cup Dried Beans OR 1 Canned Beans.
Salt & Pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped Spring Onion OR Parsley
- *Note: If you are going to use Dried Cannellini (OR other Beans), they need to be soaked in water overnight, then drain. Canned Beans are quick and easy to use.
- Stand the Ham Hock upright on a cutting board and carefully cut off the meat from the bone into a few large chunks. *Note: This process is optional but it reduces cooking time.
- Place Ham Hock chunks and bone in a pot. Add Water, Onion, Garlic, Celery and Bay Leaf. Cover with a lid, and bring to the boil.
- Once it is boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 to 2 hours OR until Ham Hock meat is soft. *Note: Add extra Water if required.
- Carefully take out Ham Hock meat and bone to a plate. Thin stalks and leaves of Celery can be discarded.
- Cut all vegetables into the size that is easy to eat. Add vegetables and other ingredients to the stock, and cook until soft. However, Dried Beans takes longer time to cook and some vegetables can be cooked quicker than others. You need to add them to the stock accordingly.
- *Note: Add soaked Dried Beans OR Dried Split Peas first. Then add Carrot and Celery. If you use Potato, add it when Carrot is soft. Drained Canned Beans should be added last.
- Meanwhile, discard the fatty rind of Ham Hock, take off all meat from the bone, and tear OR cut meat into bite-size pieces. Meat can be added to the finished soup OR cooked with vegetables.
- Season with Salt & Pepper, add finely chopped Spring Onion (OR Parsley), and serve.