Potato Leek Soup with Ham Hock
The art of eating well in season means highlighting the ingredients available this time of year. This soup combines hardy vegetables with smoked pork for a delicious and substantial meal.
2 leeks, chopped and rinsed
2 onions (one chopped, one whole)
3 cloves garlic
a teaspoon of peppercorns
a bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
1 smoked ham hock, about 2 pounds
2 pounds potatoes
1/2 cup strained plain yogurt
When cooking with a ham hock, the first step usually involves turning on the crockpot. We like to add aromatics like whole garlic, an onion or two, and peppercorns. Simmer the hock for up to four hours in its broth, until the meat is tender and the broth is glossy. Remove the hock and set aside.
Chop and then soak the leeks for a moment in a bowl of cold water, then drain and shake them dry–this is the surest way to make sure you don't get any sand in your soup. In a 3-quart soup pot, sauté the chopped leeks and onions in the butter until they wilt. When you're happy with the onions, add the coarsely chopped potatoes to the pot, simmer until they are soft, and then purée the soup with an immersion blender.
Chop the meat from the hock and add it back to the puréed soup. Adjust the salt to taste, and serve the soup with a dollop of thick, strained yogurt. Easy. So good.