Smoky blackbean soup with shredded ham hock, coriander, chilli and cream
Tonight was another night for the man claws, ideal for shredding a ham hock into this filling soup. Think more chunky stew than smooth soup... We simmered a ham hock (available from Golden Pig but known as pig knuckle) for 3 hours then shredded it into a bowl of blackbean and chilli soup, adding crunchy bacon lardons on top, freshly chopped coriander and a swirl of double cream. Dip tortilla chips in and enjoy! Admittedly my husband was dubious when I told him of my intentions with this soup, but he concluded that it was possibly one of the best soups he has ever had, and trust me, his complements are not handed out freely...
What you need:
1 ham hock (pig knuckle)
Enough beef stock to cover the above. One beef bouillon + water.
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
2 cloves garlic
3 fresh chilli
Tabasco to taste
100 ml double cream
Freshly chopped coriander
Place your ham hock into large casserole pan and cover with beef stock plus 1 bay leaf and the thyme. Simmer for 3 hours.
Towards the end of the 3 hours, dice the bacon and fry until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place to one side. Reserve the bacon fat to soften your onion, garlic and chilli. This takes 5-10 minutes. Remove these also from the oil once cooked and throw the oil away.
Strain the the water (discarding the herbs) that you used to boil the ham, separating the fat of the top.The easiest way to do this is to allow it to cool, then refrigerate (or freeze for even faster!) it and chip the fat off the top. If you can't wait for that, use 8 pieces of kitchen roll, one after the other, to absorb the fat off the top. Add half the can of beans to the stock, discarding its water. Place the other half of the can in the blender and puree it. Then add this to the pan with the rest, for texture, and to thicken the stock. Add the onion, garlic and chilli mixture plus a swig of Tabasco. Stir well to combine over a medium heat. Now you have your soup...
Shred your ham hock with your man claws.
Place the soup into a serving bowl and place shredded ham hock on top followed by crispy bacon lardons, freshly chopped coriander and a swirl of double cream. Serve with tortilla chips.
Serves 4 as an appetizer