Three Country Soup Recipes That Belong On Your Menu

Simple, Plentiful, Nutritious, Delicious and Cheap!

Bronte White

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Photo by Charlotte May from Pexels (edited)

I grew up in country Australia in a place similar to what you might imagine the outback to look like. The dirt was red, the sky blue as far as you could see and the air dry, carrying the scent of dust and eucalyptus. Only the paddocks sown with crops turned green and gold, each divided by wire fences secured to wooden posts. The rest were strewn with exotic weeds that I once saw sold in a florist shop when I visited the city.

Summers were dry and blistering hot. Winters brought a seeping cold that meant you could never get completely warm unless you almost sat yourself on the wood cooker.

Dinner with friends in winter was served out of a soup pot with a side of crusty, homemade bread. Simple, plentiful, nutritious, delicious and of course cheap. Made with love and inexpensive staples one could expect in the country.

The Boiler of Stock

The best among those soup recipes were those my grandmother’s made with the simple ham hock. This off-cut of meat that sold for a fraction of the price of its leg ham counterpart, which made it a household staple. Boiled in a pot of water until the meat fell off the bone, this cut of meat made a simple stock and the beginning of these amazing three simple recipes.

The base for each of these soups begins the same. In a boiler add 3L of water to cover the ham hock. Bring to the boil and gently simmer for 3 hours until the meat falls off the bone.

Remove the entire hock from the pot. Discard the bone, skin and fat. Shred the remaining meat between two forks and return the meat to the stock.

Divide the stock and meat into two separate batches for your soup or leave it as is to double your recipes below.

Pea and Ham Soup

To the half portion of your stock add 2 diced brown onions, 1 tablespoon of garlic and 1 tablespoon of mixed dried herbs.

My grandmother’s favorite mix included basil, sage, oregano and thyme. I buy the store mix but growing up, more often than not, my grandmother would grow the mix in her summer garden before drying the herbs. She…

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Bronte White

Australian. Writing on mental health, family, parenthood and self discovery. In Invisible Illness, Illumination, In Fitness and In Health and Modern Parent.