Heart & Soul Food: A Winter Menu

Recipes from Chef Frederic Kieffer of Artisan Restaurant in Southport

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Green Lentil and Smoked Ham Hock Soup with Wilted Chard

2 carrots
2 white onions
1 half bunch celery
2 ham hocks
3 fresh tomatoes
1 head garlic
4 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
½ tsp black peppercorns
pinch of salt
1 bunch young rainbow chard (small leaves)
8 oz. crème fraiche

1 carrot, diced  
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery
2 tbs. butter
1 lb. dried lentils
2 garlic cloves, sliced


Soak lentils overnight in cold water.
To prepare stock:
1.    Peel, dice and pan roast carrots, onion and celery until golden brown.
2.    In a large pot, combine ham hocks and pan-roasted vegetables. Add tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and peppercorns.
3.    Cover with water and add a pinch of salt.
4.    Simmer for four hours, adding water as needed.
5.    When finished, spoon off excess grease layer from top and strain. Pick and hand shred ham meat from hocks. Refrigerate.

To prepare soup:
1.    Peel, dice and simmer carrots, onions and celery with butter over medium heat until light brown.
2.    Add lentils and cover with ham hock stock. Stock should be about 1 inch above the lentils.
3.    After 25 minutes, add two pinches of salt. Let simmer for 20 more minutes.
4.    When finished, spoon out one cup of lentils and save for garnish. Blend, check seasonings and strain.
5.    Wash chard and remove stems, cut chard into half-inch strips. Set aside.

To serve:
Bring it back to a simmer and stir in rainbow chard strips. Add shredded ham and stir in reserved lentils. Garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche.


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