Hocks can be salty and smoky so I advise soaking overnight in cold water. Keep covered in the refrigerator. The meat on a bacon hock takes longer to become tender, so cook on stove-top for an hour before placing in the slow-cooker. You could cook the soup for longer in the slow-cooker, but I love the way the root vegetables still have some texture after 4 hours.
|1 ⅕ kgs||Ham hocks (Main)|
|2||Carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm dice|
|1||Leek, white part only, well washed and finely sliced|
|1 stick||Celery, strings lightly removed with a vegetable peeler and cut into 1cm dice|
|1||Bay leaf, few sprigs fresh thyme and a few parsley stalks, tied with string|
|1 Ltr||Chicken stock, hot|
|1 can||Chopped tomatoes, 400g, in juice|
|½ cup||Green lentils (Main)|
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- Soak the hock in cold water overnight in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the slow cooker for 20 minutes.
- Drain hock and place in a large saucepan. Just cover with fresh cold water. Bring to the boil, drain again and rinse. Set aside.
- Place the carrots, leek, celery, herbs and hock in the slow-cooker. Pour in the hot stock and cover with the lid.
- Cook on high for 2 hours. After 2 hours, add the tomatoes and lentils. Cook for a further 2 hours.
- Remove the hock to a chopping board and when cool enough to handle remove all the skin and bone. Shred the meat and return to the slow-cooker. Remove herbs and taste for seasoning.
- Ladle into warm soup bowls and serve with bread and butter.