Ham hock minestrone

This creation is a marriage of ham hock soup and classic minestrone. One taste and you’ll be converted to this new take on the traditional! 

(Image © Pacific Magazines Australia)


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, to drizzle
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1L chicken stock
1 ham hock 2 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
1 small red capsicum, diced
1 desiree potato, peeled, cut into 1cm cubes
1 swede, peeled, cut into 1cm pieces
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can borlotti beans, drained, rinsed
1 zucchini, cut into 1cm cubes
½ cup small dried pasta (such as macaroni)



1. Heat oil in a large heavybased saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes or until soft. Pour in stock and 2.5L hot water, and bring to a simmer. Carefully add ham hock and cook, partially covered with a lid, for 1 hour or until meat is very tender and falling off the bone.

2. Add carrot, celery, capsicum, potato, swede, tomato and beans. Bring to a simmer, cooking for a further 30 minutes.

3. Remove pan from heat. Remove ham hock and set aside on a chopping board for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin. Pull ham meat off bone and shred. Discard bone.

4. Return shredded ham to pan, along with zucchini and pasta, and stir. Cook for 20 minutes or until pasta is tender. Tear ½ of the basil and add to soup.

5. Ladle soup into serving bowls and drizzle over the extra oil. To serve, scatter with remaining basil leaves.

For more delicious winter warming soup recipes be sure to pick up a copy of the June issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, on sale now!

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