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Lentil with ham hock

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 ham hock
125g red lentils
2 shallots
1 carrot, diced
1 potato, diced
1.25l water
Some crème fraîche 

Method:
Place the ham hock in a large saucepan, cover with cold water. Bring to the boil removing any scum which comes to the top. Simmer for about 2hrs. Remove the hock from the pan and leave on a plate to cool.
Strain the stock into a jug and leave to cool.
Place shallots, carrot, potato and washed lentils into a large saucepan. 
Remove any fat from the top of the cooled stock, pour the stock onto the vegetables, season ( very little salt needed as hock can be quite salty). Bring to the boil and simmer for about 2 hours. The stock should cover the veg plus about 2cm above it! 
When cooked, allow to cool slightly and blend with a hand blender (it doesn't have to be really smooth!).
Pull the meat off the cooled hock. Some will come in large chunks and can be used in a quiche instead of bacon. (See my recipe  in the meat mains section)
Place about 4 handfuls of meat in the soup, warm up, rectify consistency and seasoning if needed. 
Serve with a drop of cream and some chunky bread.... 
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