My husband who is Scottish, is a huge fan of this soup. He is insistent that it has to have a ham hock in it, which I have to agree does impart some lovely flavour. If you are using ham hock, then go easy on the salt as the meat flavours the dish significantly. If you are vegan or vegetarian then if you omit the ham hock, it will taste fine without it. Lentils are a great source of fibre which help to lower cholesterol, and are also good at helping regulate blood sugar levels. Not only that, but they contain seven important minerals and B vitamins. So not only is this dish tasty, but it has some great health benefits too!
- 340 g red split lentils
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 small cooked ham hock.
- 2 medium onions, finely diced
- 3 carrots, diced.
- 3 sticks celery, finely chopped
- A good couple of handfuls of diced swede/turnip
- 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5 litres of hot vegetable stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Soften the onions, carrot, swede/turnip, garlic, bay leaf and celery in a heavy based pot over a medium heat for around 3 minutes, ensuring you keep stirring. Then add the lentils and ham, followed by the hot stock. Simmer gently for 30 mins.
Remove the bay leaf and carefully remove the ham hock. Take the meat from the bone and stir it gently through the soup. It is lovely served with warmed bread.