Smoked pork belly or hock is the basis of the stock used to make this hearty soup. Celery, carrot and parsnip are also used, although any other good stock vegetables can be included. Traditionally eaten during the autumn harvest in the wine region of Germany, this soup recipe can be stretched depending on how many people you’re feeding. This version feeds six people. You can happily make more than you need as the soup keeps well and gets better with time, simply freeze or store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- 4 cups green lentils
- 1 smoked pork belly or hock
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 parsnip, roughly chopped
- 2–3 litres water
- 3 large, waxy potatoes, cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp lard
- 1 tbsp plain flour
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 2 hours
Place the lentils in a bowl, cover with plenty of cold water and soak for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, place the belly or hock, celery, carrot and parsnip in a large pot and cover with the water. Add 2 teaspoons salt (or less if the pork is very salty) and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 2 hours or until the pork is tender.
Remove the pork and strain the stock, discarding the vegetables. Bring the stock back to a simmer and add the lentils. Cook for 10 minutes.
Cut the pork into rough smallish chunks and add back to the pot. Simmer for a few more minutes then add the potato. Cook for another 15–20 minutes.
Melt the lard in a frying pan and add the flour and brown lightly. Carefully add to the soup being careful not to let it splash and burn you; as the flour cooks it will thicken the soup.