With the weather cooling down, it's nice to warm your innards with some delicious fall soup.
6-8 small servings or 3-4 large servings
* 4 tablespoons bacon grease
* 1 nitrate-free ham hock (about 1 pound)
* 1/2 a large onion, chopped
* 3 celery stalks, chopped
* 1/2 a small-to-medium head of green cabbage, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 bay leaves
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
* 3-4 cups Chicken Broth
* 3-4 cups peeled and cubed pumpkin (or other winter squash)
Heat the bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add the celery and onions and cook til they start to wilt. Add the ham hock.
Add the cabbage, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, salt, and cayenne. Stir and cook until cabbage is slightly wilted, 3-4 minutes.
Pour the broth in, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Add the pumpkin, cover, and simmer 1 hour.
Remove the ham hock from the pot and remove the meat from the bone. Shred the meat and stir it back into the soup. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
This makes great leftovers and I think the taste even improves with age.
Goes well with a side salad for dinner.
I adapted this recipe from Emeril Lagasse's Ham Hock and Cabbage Soup: http://www.emerils.com/recipe/2775/Ham-Hock-and-Cabbage-Soup