Saturday, 27 November 2010

Back in my Kitchen for a bit. Smoked Pork Hock and Curried Pumpkin Soup

Last night, I cooked a large smoked pork hock for dinner and it turned out to be quite delicious. Sorry I forgot to take many photos but maybe next time!

I large smoked hock (You could add more if cooking for more than 2 people)
1 large onion sliced
1 large carrot sliced
1 whole garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
10 peppercorns
A bunch of parsley

I put all into a large saucepan with enough water to just cover, brought it to the boil and allowed to simmer slowly with the lid on for 2 ½ hours.

I peeled off the skin, sliced the meat and served it with mashed potatoes, mushrooms and brussel sprouts. Nigel said he dreams of dinners like this; what a recommendation!

I had masses of stock left over, so today I decided to use it and make curried pumpkin soup. As I do not usually weigh or measure amounts when I make soup, I have made the effort here but I advise you to use quantities that suit you.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

2 ¼ kg (about 5lbs) pumpkin, pips removed and kept aside, peeled and cut into smallish chunks for quicker cooking

1 or 2 apples
2 medium onions
50g (about 2 ozs) butter/margarine
1 tblesp curry powder plus extra if necessary for later tasting
2 tablesp cake flour
zest and juice from one orange
I used 2 litres (about 4 pints) of pork hock stock, but you could just use water and a couple of chicken stock cubes
500 ml (about 1 pint) milk
salt and pepper to taste

Peel, core and chop the apple. Peel the onions and chop. In a small saucepan, sauté the chopped onions in the butter/margarine. Add the curry powder and fry the mixture lightly. Add the apple and sauté the mixture for a while. Add the flour and stir-fry lightly. Slowly add the milk stirring all the time until it is bubbling and thick.

Meanwhile bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan. When boiling, add the chopped pumpkin. Add a bit of the stock to the milk mixture, stir well to make pouring easier and then add the milk mixture to the stock and pumpkin mixture. Allow that to boil for a few minutes and then taste the liquid to check the flavouring. Add more curry powder to taste and a little salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper. Boil, with the lid on, over moderate heat until the pumpkin pieces are soft. Stir the mixture occasionally.

Add the orange zest and juice and puree or blend until smooth. The colour of the soup should be a deep yellow and the texture creamy. If it is too thick, add a little extra stock if available or some milk. Check the flavour and add seasoning to taste. Serve the soup hot with a splash of cream on top.

This made about 3 ½ litres (about 6 pints) of soup and it freezes well.


While the soup was cooking, I roasted the pumpkin pips in a little oil at 180C (350F) for thirty mins. They make a great snack and do not last long in this house!


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50 comments:

  1. I can imagine the aroma that came from your kitchen as you made your pork and the soup. It is always so nice to cook for someone who appreciates what you have made :-). I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  2. I think Nigel has the right idea. I'd love to sit at your table.

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  3. Mary the smell was pretty good I have to agree. The soup was delicious as well so in all I had a happy husband :-) Take care, Diane

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  4. Susan, though I say it myself it was pretty good. I will be off next week to see if there are any more smoked pork hocks at the butcher! I still have plenty of pumpkins that I brought back from France :-) Diane

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  5. I love pork and your recipe looks yum!!!
    I'll try it later in winter!!
    Nigel is a lucky man!!
    Cheers, Diane!

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  6. Noushka this seemed to be extra especially nice, I am back off to the butcher again on Tuesday, he is closed on Mondays! Diane

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  7. Hi Diane! Thanks for sharing all those wonderful recipes!

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  8. Diane this looks heavenly! I'll bet you both walked away from the table totally satisfied! The soup is a special treat when prepared like that yum, I would sprinkle some of the toasted Pepitas on top!

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  9. Hi Olga, they were extra special and ones we really enjoyed. Have a good weekend. Diane

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  10. Popped in to have a look at your blog, and was quite, quite, surprised at the snow photo. So atmospheric, and such a change from the blazing colour of the previous photo. You certainly do manage to 'capture' something special in your piccies.

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  11. YUM!!!! I LOVE pumpkin ANYTHING!! And pumpkin/curry sounds DELISH!!! Are you in Charante or in England?? I thought you were in England for awhile... Maybe I'm mistaken... Stay warm!
    Leese

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  12. Lyndsey, thanks for the comments. It was one of the most satisfying meals that I have cooked for sometime and it was so easy. Diane

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  13. Thanks Vera. There is a lot of luck in my better photos, they just happen! I only have a cheap camera and quite often I produce rubbish, but the occasional good one pops up when I happen to be in the right place at the right time :-) Diane

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  14. Leesa I am in the UK sadly until the end of March. It is too expensive to keep two houses fully heated over winter, and as I spend 6 months away from Nigel during summer it is hardly fair to desert him for the whole year!!! I also love anything pumpkin, particularly roasted with a sprinkling of cayenne and cummin on it. Yum yum. Diane

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  15. That soup sounds good and I'll have to try it using a couple of our butternut squashes. I suppose I can roast the squash seeds in the same way as you did the pumpkin ones.

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  16. Jan my best ever butternut soup is on my website see
    http://www.recipe.nidi.org.uk/Butternut_Soup.htm It is really yummy. I based the pumpkin soup on this recipe, but stepped up the curry up a bit. I always roast my butternut and pumpkin seeds. The orange flavour with the butternut is just the best. So far as Nigel is concerned the butternut recipe is number 1 no matter how good any other soup is that I make :-) Diane

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  17. Bonjour Diane ~ I would have loved to have been a guest at your table! it's making my mouth water just reading about it!!
    xx
    Dianne

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  18. So many great flavors here... I never use the hocks but for soup... what am I missing??? It looks amazing... and all you did was boil??? WOW~!

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  19. I am sure Nigel is very happy to have you back home. Perfect weather for comfort food too.
    Los Angeles has had cold nights too recently. We are so not used to this. It gets to 60 degrees and we are all complaining that it is "freezing".

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  20. Dianne, thanks for your kind comments, Even though I say it myself it tasted pretty yummy :-) Diane

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  21. lostpastremembered you are definately missing out if you have not eaten them as a meat. I may have not cooked it like this my self, except for the fact the we had a fabulous German butcher in S.Africa and we used to go and buy hocks hot from the barrel - Eisbein, a pickled hock which is boiled. Maybe I should look into pickling a hock when I have the time :-) Diane

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  22. Nadege I can not believe how cold it is here, and yes hot soups and meals are the only answer at the moment. I gather that France is not a lot better than we are!! The advantage is we have a good wood burner over there. Diane

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  23. It all looks really yummy - I'll have to give them a go - have you come up with a business plan yet?xx

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  24. Hi Roz it was such a cheap meal as well as being yummy. Plans....... nope !! Diane

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  25. Great minds think alike we had pumpkin soup this weekend as well, it has been that sort of weather. You have reminded me that we need to roast the pumpkin seeds now.

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  26. Hi Diane.. Oh we sure do need winter warmer foods now, ... Oh I bet a great log burner does wonders .. :-)

    Hope to meet up again soon , we are both pretty busy .. until we do, take care and keep warm. xox

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  27. Lindy thankfully I have still masses of pumpkins left and this weather is perfect for them. Trouble is I have not a lot of freezer space here so I have to control the quantities I make!! We love them roasted as well. Diane

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  28. Hi Anne, sorry I was in a rush the other day and things do not look like calming down very much for a bit!

    I am trying to keep warm, but I think my blood thinned after being in Africa for 50 years and I struggle to stay warm. The curried pumpkin soup sure helped. Take care. Diane xx

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  29. Now I am hungry and you are to blame hahaha. The pumpkin soup sounds good!

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  30. This is such a lovely meal, Diane! Perfect food to warm the heart and soul on a chilly night like tonight!

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  31. chubskulit, Sorry LOL. The soup was very good. Diane

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  32. Faith you are so right it was perfect for this very chilly weather we are experiencing at the present time. Diane

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  33. Love the pork. Looks really tender juicy delicious. yummm.... Hope you're enjoying you day & take care.
    Blessings, Kristy

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  34. Everything looks delicious! Yummy! :-)

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  35. Kristy, it really was delicious. Hope you are also having a good day. Thanks Diane

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  36. Ah, I love brussel sprouts. Mashed potatoes are another favorite of mine. For our Thanksgiving Day here, I often skip the turkey (saving mine for turkey sandwiches) and eat dressing, mashed potatoes, all with gravy, and cranberry/cherry salad.
    Your winter scene is lovely; I can almost hear the tires slushing down the road.

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  37. Mya I am not a huge turkey fan other then the brown meat on the thigh. For the last few years we have cooked a whole salmon in preference to turkey. Turkey is much better in sandwiches I would say!

    It was quite a hairy drive as the road had not been salted! This was in France last last New Year. Diane

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  38. I love that your recipes are like mine - some of this, one or 2 of that, a handful of something else! I try to write them out better when posting the recipes, but when I cook it's always an estimation.

    Love your new header photo. We haven't had snow that stuck here, yet, although I know it will fly. Soon.

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  39. The pumpkin soup is screaming my name!

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  40. I am gona have to try this soup with apples! got too many apples in the fridge and of course a pumpkin is laying around too!

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  41. Ooh, these dishes look yummy, but obviously winter fare! It is Summer here tomorrow! I am cooking roast lamb tonight though!

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  42. Marjie the number of times I cook something and Nigel says you can do that again it was so good. I have often no idea what I have thrown in and a repeat is almost impossible!! At least it means we do not eat the same thing all the time :-) Diane

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  43. Pam is was good, wish I could send you some. Diane

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  44. Taste of Beirut, I am sure you will enjoy it we certainly did. Diane

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  45. L'Aussie I realise that I am the wrong side of the equator when I look out the window and see a blanket of white!!!! My ideal would be April until October in France and the rest in S.Africa :-) Diane

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  46. I'll give the ham hock a go - I buy a lot of these as they are very reasonably priced. I usually do mine in the slow cooker.xxxx

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  47. I didn't use your recipe this time Diane as I completely forgot all about it. However, I've now copied it into Word so that I can print it and keep in my recipe folder. We've got plenty more butternuts anyway!

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  48. Diane my slow cooker is in France so....... The ususal story what ever I want it is always in the other house. Hope this will not happen for much longer and that we can make the move to France permanent!! Diane

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  49. Jan I still have a few butternuts left but masses of pumpkins! I am sure it is the orange in the recipe that makes the butternut soup so good. Diane

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