A perfect soup for big family gatherings. It also freezes well – just reheat gently until piping hot. The smoky bacon bone contains a lot of salt, so be careful not to add any extra when cooking. Taste for seasoning just before serving.
- 1 bacon or ham hock
- 4 litres water
- 1 cup soup mix – barley, split peas, red lentils, etc
- 2 celery stalks, finely sliced
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- ½ leek, halved and finely sliced
- 1 swede, grated
- 1-2 tbsp pesto
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- Toasted grainy bread, to serve
1 Place the bacon bone in a large saucepan and cover with at least 2 litres of the water. Simmer covered for 1½ hours.
2 Remove the bone and meat and set aside to cool. Add the remaining water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the soup mix and simmer for 40 minutes, then add the sliced and grated vegetables. Simmer for a further 15 minutes.
3 Meanwhile, remove any meat form the bone and dice. Return to the soup and heat through.
4 Check for seasoning, then ladle into bowls and top with a small teaspoon of pesto and sprinkle with parsley.
About Jo Wilcox
"I have had a love of food my whole life. Lucky for me my mum allowed me to play in the kitchen from the very beginning – from sitting up on the bench watch her peeling peaches for preserving or planning dinner parties from her many Womans Weekly Cookbooks. Starting in my local beach café, I went onto professional cookery training and my big foodie OE working as a professional chef and nanny. At 21 I launched my first restaurant. The following years saw me owning a gourmet cake and dessert shop and then a pasta deli before I discovered the world of food styling. Today I work in food styling making food look beautiful and tasty in packaging and advertising shoots, as well as my most important role yet – Food Editor of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly. I aim to provide great meal solutions that are interesting and approachable, and of course gorgeous foodie photos that make you want to cook them! I love the feedback and the knowledge that people actually cook them and have great results. If I can give someone a love of cooking and enjoying family meal times and gatherings then my job is done!" See www.jowilcox.co.nzmore of this author