Fragrant with kaffir lime leaves, chilli and shredded coconut, this Lentil Coconut and Ham Hock Soup, makes for a traditional winter comfort dish. If you are keeping your leftover ham bone in the freezer to use later, this might just be the recipe to try.
By Martyna Candrick
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 leek, sliced thinly
- 1 large carrot, cut into chunks
- 2 (15cm) celery sticks, sliced roughly
- 4 fresh kaffir lime leaves
- 1 red long chilli, seeds removed
- 1 stalk lemongrass, bruised with the back of a knife
- 1 teaspoon each ground ginger, cumin, cardamom, coriander
- 1-1.5kg smoked free-range ham hock with some meat on it (leftover leg ham bone – see note)
- 3.5 litres of filtered water
- 1 organic stock cube
- 2.5 cups red dried lentils
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a large cast iron (lidded) casserole dish (or crock pot / slow cooker) over medium heat. Add leek, carrot and celery sticks. Cook for a minute until the leek starts to become translucent. Add remaining coconut oil, kafir lime leaves, sliced chilli, lemongrass and spices and continue to cook, stirring, for another minute for them to become fragrant.
- Add ham hock, water and the stock cube to the pan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low, cover with a lid and cook for 2 hours to infuse the stock.
- (If saving the stock for later, strain it and freeze. You can leave the vegetables and ham meat picked off the bone in if you like also).
- With the stock still on the stove and the ham hock in, add lentils, sesame seeds and shredded coconut to the pot. Stir, cover with a lid and cook for a further 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils from burning to the bottom.
- Once ready, remove the ham hock from the pot and pick off the meat – it should be tender and falling off the bone. Return the meat into the pot, stir, and serve.
- Any remaining soup will freeze well.
Martyna is a Polish-born Australian recipe developer and food blogger. Her creativity and passion for good food shines through in many of the delicious and easy to prepare meals which she cooks, styles and photographs for her blog, Wholesome Cook. Fresh cream-filled eclairs are her only weakness.