Bonfire Night Ham Hock & Lentil Soup

Bonfire, or Guy Fawkes night is one of the occasions that I don't mind standing outside in the cold and dark.  They sky gets lit up with the prettiest of colours and theres usually a roaring bonfire to warm even the coldest of noses.  Such a scenario could only be improved by hearty, warm food and something spiced to sip on.  Whether you make this soup to eat before, after or during the firework display, it doesn't matter.  You'll just be happy you made it.

Serves 8

3 carrots, trimmed and finely diced
3 sticks celery, trimmed and finely diced
2 parsnips, trimmed and finely diced
1 red onion, peeled, trimmed and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled, trimmed and finely diced
Olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
350g shredded ham hock
350g green lentils
1l chicken or vegetable stock
Himalayan/sea salt and cracked black pepper


- Put all veg in a medium saucepan (with a lid) and add a good glug of olive oil.

- Cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes with the lid on, occasionally stirring.

- Add the ham hock and herbs, lentils and stock.  Stir to combine and bring to the boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until the lentils are soft and slightly mushy.

- Bottle up into Thermos flasks to slurp whilst watching the fireworks.