SERVES 8 – 10 as a starter or 4 – 6 as a main course.
This spicy, smoky, herbaceous ham hock soup will fill up the people you love in the most satisfying and tasty of ways with very few carbohydrates in sight!
Old Dutch. You are my best friend. I can’t tell you what a joy it is having one Dutch Oven that can do just so many things. In this recipe as you boil up the stock in the pot, you’ll roast the cauliflower and onions on the lid. Once the roastings are out of the way, make a batch of your favourite bread in the lid and serve both hot on the table.
We served this soup with Ironclad Sunflower and Miso Low Carb Pull Apart Bread but it would be just as delicious served with Ironclad Pumpkin Seed Focaccia.
8 c water
1 large free range bacon hock
3 carrots, roughly chopped
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
10 bay leaves
2 large sprigs of rosemary
2 bulbs garlic, roughly chopped
THE ROASTED VEG
1 whole medium cauliflower
4 medium onions, cut in half, skin on
4 T olive oil
2 t smoked chipotle powder
1 t salt flakes
6 large spinach leaves, roughly chopped
Large bunch of Italian parsley, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 large juicy lemon
3 T miso dissolved in 1 c boiling water
Black pepper and salt to taste
Feta cheese, labneh or soft cheese of your choice
Roasted pumpkin seeds
Green herb oil
Heat oven to 220C.
To make the stock, pop all the stock ingredients in the pot of your Old Dutch and simmer for 2 hours, adding more water from time to time to make sure the bacon hock is always covered in water.
Arrange the halved onions around the cauliflower in the lid of your Old Dutch. Drizzle the onions and cauliflower with olive oil, sprinkle with the chipotle powder and salt, and roast for 30 minutes or until the onions are nicely browned and sizzling.
Remove onions from the lid and add to the stock pot. Do not remove them from their skins just yet! The roasted skins add flavour and colour to the stock.
Continue to roast the cauliflower for a further 45 minutes till golden brown. I like to cut the cauli in half at this point – and return to the lid in two pieces to finish roasting. More caramelisation surfaces!
Add the cauliflower to the stock pot and add enough water to bring soup 1 inch from the top of the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes until the cauliflower is very soft and the meat falls off the bacon hock.
Remove the bacon hock, bay leaves and rosemary from the pot. Toss away the herbs and put the meat aside to cool a little. Pull the onions out with a pair of tongs. The flesh will squeeze out super easily, leaving the skins behind.
Return the onions to the pot with the spinach, parsley, lemon juice and miso and blend with a stick blender till smooth. Add more water to achieve your desired thickness. I don’t like our soup too gloopy! Adjust for seasoning. Does it need more pepper, citrus or salt? It’s your choice.
Chop the meat off the bone and sprinkle it on top of the soup along with a scattering of roasted pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of herb oil and blobs of feta cheese or labneh or vegan cheese of your choice!