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Smoked Ham Hock and Red Lentil Soup

  • Author: Recipe Winners, recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: up to 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 6 large serves


This is a seriously ballsy, warming and delicious soup. It’s nourishing and comforting and best of all you probably have most ingredients in your kitchen.

It freezes well ,and you can use smoked ham hocks straight from the freezer. We like!


  • 1 large smoked ham hock weighing around 1.4kg (3 pounds)
  • 2 large carrots, 1 quartered for cooking the hock, and the other diced for the soup
  • 2 large onions, 1 quartered for cooking the hock, and the other diced for the soup
  • 3 sticks of celery, sliced for cooking the hock
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red chillies finely chopped – remove the seeds if you don’t like it too spicy
  • 3 fat cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 x 400g (14 ounce) tin of diced tomatoes
  • 350g (12 ounces) red lentils
  • 1 large cinnamon quill
  • 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
  • 4 strips orange peel – use a vegetable peeler so you don’t get any white pith
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt – taste the stock as some hocks can be very salty
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

parsley salsa

  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 packed cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt


  • put hock in a large pot with the quartered carrot and onion, celery, allspice and peppercorns
  • cover with cold water and bring to a boil
  • using a spoon or strainer, remove the scum from the top of the soup
  • reduce temperature to a simmer and top up with water as hock cooks
  • transfer cooked hock to a chopping board when it is literally falling off the bone – depending on the size this could take 2-3 hours
  • remove fat and bone and slice meat into bite sized pieces
  • strain stock and discard vegetables and aromatics
  • in a clean heavy based saucepan add oil, diced onion, carrot and chilli
  • stir over medium-high heat until onion and carrot have softened (about 6-8 minutes)
  • add garlic and stir for a minute or two
  • add tomato paste, tinned tomatoes, lentils, smoked paprika, cinnamon, orange skin and juice, 2 1/4 litres ( 4 3/4 pints or 9 1/2 cups) of stock, salt (depending on how salty the stock is after cooking the hock) and freshly ground pepper and give it a good stir
  • bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and leave to bubble away for 30 minutes or until lentils are soft
  • stir with a wooden spoon every so often to make sure the lentils aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pan
  • meanwhile make salsa
  • add smoked ham into the finished soup and heat through for 5 minutes
  • ladle into bowls and top with the parsley salsa
  • enjoy!

parsley salsa

  • heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat till hot
  • add caraway seeds and fry till the seeds sizzle and splutter (about a minute)
  • pour oil and caraway over parsley and add salt
  • mix together 



  • soup freezes well
  • Category: soups
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: English

Keywords: smoked ham hock with red lentil soup, smoked ham hock soup, soup, smoked ham hock, lentil soup, red lentil soup,