German Ham Hock and Cabbage Soup

Serves 6
Time 3 hours


400g pancetta or smokey bacon, diced
1 bay leaf
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
100g butter
½ tsp truffle salt
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 sticks celery, diced
½ bunch dill, chopped
½ bunch thyme, chopped
1 large leek, cleaned and diced
½ wombok, chopped
1 ham hock
2L vegetable stock (homemade is preferable)
750ml dry apple cider
½ bunch parsley, chopped
1 bunch chives, chopped

Crusty bread, to serve


In a large pot, cook the ham hock in the stock for 2 hours until the meat falls off the bone. Remove from the stock, allow to cool, then remove the meat from the bone and chop into small pieces. Reserve the stock for later.


In a large pot over high heat, cook the pancetta or bacon with the bay leaf and allow the fat to render for about two minutes. Add the onion, garlic, butter, truffle salt, caraway and fennel seeds, and stir to coat everything in the butter and fat.


Once the butter has melted, add the celery, dill, thyme and leek. Sweat off for a couple of minutes before adding the wombok and apple cider. Add 1L of stock, draining through a sieve. Over a simmer, cook the soup for 45 minutes until everything is tender.


Stir through the chopped ham, parsley and chives and turn off the heat. Distribute into bowls and serve with buttered crusty bread.