tonight i adapted a stephanie alexander recipe for cabbage soup from "the cook's companion". i simmered a ham hock in water with a bay leaf, thyme sprigs and peppercorns for ages until it almost fell apart. meanwhile dice 1 onion, 2 carrots and a turnip into big chunks. saute in marg/butter and then add a couple of litres of chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme and simmer for 45 mins. while that's happening cut up a parsnip and a pear and boil until they're soft. throw in a bit of lemon juice along the way. the parsnip will take longer so put it in first.
after 45 mins add chopped green beans and chopped cabbage (we had chinese) to the soup. cook for another 10 mins or so. cut the meat off the ham hock and dice up as much as you want to put in the soup. add 2 cups of the ham cooking liquid to the soup. add ham and a can of white beans to the soup. Taste soup. add a couple of tablespoons of Dijon mustard, black pepper and salt to the soup as needed.
mash the parsnip and pears with some marg/butter and milk. serve the soup with a dollop of the mash in the centre. serve with fresh bread rolls that you made with the help of the bread machine.