Ham Hock and Vegetable Soup

Ham Hock and Vegetable Soup
David Loftus
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Prep: 30 minutes
  • Cook: 30 minutes

If making this from scratch, boil a ham hock in a large pan of salted water with a carrot, onion, celery stick, a few peppercorns, and a couple of bay leaves. Simmer for about 3 hours, until the meat is soft and the broth is tasty. Then follow the recipe as directed. This soup will keep in a covered container, refrigerated, for up to 2 days.


1cup pearl barley, farro, or spelt berries, rinsed
1tablespoon butter
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
1 onion, finely chopped
4 green onions, trimmed, green and white parts separated, finely chopped
2tablespoons grainy mustard
6cups chicken stock
9ounces cooked lean ham hock, cut into small chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pear, cut into matchsticks
1tablespoon cider vinegar


  1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add the barley and boil for about 15 minutes, until tender. Drain. (Adjust cooking time as necessary if using farro or spelt berries.)
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the carrots, celery, onion, and the green parts of the green onions. Cook for about 10 minutes, until tender but not golden, then stir in the mustard.
  3. Add the stock, followed by the ham and cooked barley. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, and divide between serving bowls. Garnish with the white pieces of the green onions.
  4. Place the pear in a small dish and pour the cider vinegar over it (do this just before serving the soup). Serve the pickled pear on the side, for adding to the soup.

Recipe from My Little French Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (Chronicle Books, 2014).