DSC02835Why have I not been eating ham hocks my whole life?

I picked some up the other day – smoked, high quality ones from Thompson Farms – and got four of them for less than $5.00.

(That’s a lot of delicious for very little dough.)

I made a nice stock from them on day one, and then on day two, I used that stock (which was rich and gelatinous) to make a Green Kale & Ham Soup.  (And yes, I am trying to evoke Dr. Seuss with that name.)

Here are the details for how I did it.  And, let me tell you, I will be doing it again very soon.

This soup hocks.  (I mean, rocks.)

Ham Hock Stock

  • 4 smoked ham hocks
  • aromatics (I used celery, onion and garlic.  I didn’t use carrot because I was out.)
  • water, enough to cover your ingredients
  1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours.
  3. Strain liquid, and put in fridge overnight.
  4. KEEP THE HAM HOCKS FOR YOUR SOUP!  (Cool them overnight, too.)
  5. The next morning, skim the layer of fat from the top of the stock.

Green Kale & Ham Soup

  • 6 cups Ham Hock Stock
  • 1 TBSP lard
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups peeled, diced sweet potato
  • meat from ham hocks, about 1.5 cups, shredded or cut into small bites
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups curly green kale, stems removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt to taste (be judicious, as your stock should be rather salty)
  1. If you haven’t already, remove as much meat as you can from your ham hocks and set in fridge.
  2. Warm a large dutch oven over medium-low heat.
  3. Melt fat in bottom of dutch oven.
  4. Add onion, stir.
  5. Add garlic, stir.
  6. Cook onion and garlic until translucent.
  7. Add sweet potato.  Continue to move it around as it browns.
  8. When sweet potato just begins to brown slightly, add 6 cups of stock to the dutch oven.
  9. Bring to boil then immediately reduce to a low, slow simmer and cover.
  10. Cook covered for 30 minutes, at least.
  11. Remove cover and add meat from ham hocks, salt (if desired) and apple cider vinegar.
  12. Cook uncovered (but still slow and low) for ten minutes.
  13. Add kale and cook until the leaves are bright green and just softening.  (Don’t overcook the kale!  Remember, it will continue to cook even after the soup comes off the stove.)
  14. Serve!

For posts from other bloggers with similar interests, visit Nourishing Joy’s Thank Goodness It’s Monday blog carnival where you can find this post and more! You can also find other recipes like this one that are safe for people on the Autoimmune Protocol here.

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2 Responses to “Green Kale & Ham Soup”

  1. on 05 Mar 2013 at 2:58 pmSheri Goff

    Sounds and looks yummy! If you had grown up in PA Dutch/Amish country you would know all about ham hocks. A real staple but mostly cooked with green beans and new potatoes when those come into season. Kale? Not so much……..

  2. on 05 Mar 2013 at 3:14 pmKristine Rudolph

    Oh, they’re very prevalent in the South, too. It’s just that I am only now venturing into the world of “whole animal” eating, so it’s the first time I have used them.

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