Ham Hock Soup with Watercress and Potato
(Serves 6 - 8)
1 smoked ham hock
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2½ litres cold water
400 grams packed watercress leaves - no large stems
freshly ground pepper
1 kilo floury potatoes peeled and roughly chopped, eg Agria
sea salt to taste
juice of 1 lemon
plain, unsweetened yoghurt to garnish
a few extra watercress sprigs for garnishing
Cut a few slashes through the ham hock skin and flesh. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot and sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic, water, ham hock and watercress. Give a good grind of pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes without the lid.
Remove the ham hock from the pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Pull the ham from the bone, discard the skin and cut the meat into small chunks. Add the potatoes, and most of the ham back into the pot, reserving a few chunks of ham for garnish. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Cool then ladle the soup into a food processor, about 2 cups at a time and blend until quite smooth. Pour back into the pot to heat through. Season carefully with salt to taste and lemon juice (remember the ham hock is salty).
Serve in wide shallow soup bowls, garnished with the reserved chunks of ham, a spoonful of yoghurt and a sprig of watercress.
John Hawkesby’s wine suggestion
Artisan Best Paddock 2006
Triplebank Awatere Valley Pinot Noir Rose 2007
Craggy Range 2007