A few weeks back I read a comment from a reader of The Herald online saying that there are not many food outlets serving simple soups. For that reason I have made a lentil and ham soup this week. It’s hearty, comforting and perfectly simple to make, and is even better with warm crusty bread.

Ingredients, serves 4 +

1 x ham hock

250g red lentils

½ stick celery

1 x onion dice

1 x swede

Freshly ground pepper


Place the ham hock in a deep pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a gentle simmer and continue to cook for around 2.5 hours or until the meat is falling from the bone.

When the ham hock is cool, pick the meat from the bone keeping the stock from the ham.

Add the lentils followed by the vegetables to a pan and add the ham stock.

Bring back to the boil then turn to a simmer, cooking the lentils until soft. You may need to continue to add more stock until the lentils are cooked.

Add the picked ham meat back at the end serving with a generous turn of cracked black pepper and crusty bread.