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
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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