Bacon Hock Soup
- 2 T oil (sunflower, canola: something mild)
- 1 c diced onion
- 1 sliced leek (large, trimmed and washed; optional)
- 3 cloves sliced garlic
- 1/4 c pearl barley
- 2 t tomato paste
- 1 diced carrot (peeled, large)
- 2 L bacon hock stock
- cooked meat (from 1 bacon hock, diced; optional)
- salt (to taste)
- freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- chopped parsley (plenty)
- 4 sliced green onions (optional; use either green onions or leeks, but not both)
Put the oil in a large, heavy saucepan with the onion, leek (if using), garlic, and barley. Cook over a gentle heat until the vegetables have softened but not browned.
Stir in the tomato paste and carrot. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer, partly covered, for at least an hour until the barley is swollen and tender.
If using, add the meat from the hock; season with salt and pepper. Add the parsley and green onions (if using) just before serving.