Red Pepper Potage with Smoked Pork Hock
¼ cup olive oil
4 cups red bell peppers roughly diced into ½” cubes
3 garlic cloves sliced into thin coins
1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
4 cups yukon gold potatoes roughly diced into 1”cubes
4 thyme sprigs
Sea salt to taste
1½ liters chicken stock
1 large pork hock
Place the ham hock and chicken stock into sauce pot and bring it to a boil. Bring to a boil and simmer gently with the lid on for 1 hr or until the pork rind is swollen and tender. Remove the hock from the pot and when cooled remove and discard the rind and bone simply by using your fingers. Separate the meat then dice it into ¼” pieces.
Heat the oil on a medium high heat in a soup pot. Add the peppers and cook for 7-6 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook a further 3 minutes browning just slightly. Add a few tbsp of water followed by the paprika and cook a minute while stirring. Cover and cook on the lowest setting for 30 minutes or until the peppers are velvety soft. Remove the lid and add the potatoes the stock and the thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs from the soup. Using an immersion blender (wand), place it into the soup and puree half the mixture but leaving the other half relatively lumpy. This makes for a more interesting contrast in texture. Ladle the soup into bowls and add a cluster of ham on top and serve.