One Way to Use a Ham Hock

Earlier this week I solicited my Facebook friends for some vegetarian dinner ideas because our grassfed meat supply is running out in the freezer. We’ll be putting our order in for more meat from Lubbers Farm next spring, but won’t get it until autumn of 2010. Meanwhile, I got some great ideas, which I’m hoping to try soon.

In the process of searching, I came across a lentil soup recipe, although it’s not vegetarian because it has a ham hock in it. But my package in the freezer has two hocks. So I found another recipe to use the other hock. (Stay tuned…it’s coming tomorrow.)

The lentil soup recipe I found is from the Food Network. It calls for 3 cups of mushrooms (yuck!), so I omitted them and added more carrots and garlic instead. All the ingredients I used are either organic (lentils) or local (ham, veggies, and homemade chicken broth).

I’ve never been happy with the lentil soup recipes I try, and I think it has something to do with the texture of the lentils. To me, they taste dry and gritty. I tried this one tonight as shown in the photo above, but before I put the leftovers away I’m planning to use my immersion blender to puree it a bit. I think that will help make the texture more smooth.

Anyone have an idea how to improve the texture? Or some lentil soup recipes you like? I’d love to try others.

And, back to the vegetarian thing….I bet you could substitute crushed tomatoes for ham and it would be mighty tasty.

Watch for tomorrow’s recipe to see how I use the other ham hock.


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