Recipe: Michael Van de Elzen’s Pulled Ham Hock Soup with White Beans

This soup is light, brothy and loaded full of nutritious vegetables.

Words: Michael Van de Elzen

I created this recipe as an affordable way to get flavour and vegetables into a meal. A lot of the taste comes from the smoked ham hock. I love to use these as they’re economical and, if you have the time, you can extract heaps of flavour out of them.

I once tried to speed up the recipe by putting the ham hock in a pressure cooker. However, the fat in the ham hock turned the cooking broth into a cloudy mess. This recipe is about taking your time and gently simmering the hock, keeping all the fat at the top, so you get a nice clear broth.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 90 minutes


2 smoked ham hocks
1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 courgettes, chopped chunky
1 tin haricot beans
1 tin lentils
120g packet spinach, stalks removed
small amount of grated Parmesan cheese
1 loaf wholemeal sourdough


Put the two ham hocks in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add the stock powder and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat, skim the scum from the top of the pot, and continue to cook for 45 minutes until the meat softens. Add the carrots, courgette, beans, and lentils to the pot, return to the boil and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Remove the ham hocks. Allow to cool a little, then shred the meat (discarding the fat and skin) into six soup bowls. Roughly chop the spinach and add to the pot. Season to taste, then ladle the soup over the meat in the bowls.

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NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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