Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Hearty Ham Soup - and a Hot Air Balloon !

I'd just made soup for tea, when I looked out the window yesterday evening and saw a hot air balloon out the window. 

We do see a lot of them round here at this time of year - but this balloon was VERY low and coming into land just a couple of fields away from our house. I yelled at Oliver to hurry and grab his shoes and  30 seconds later, we leapt into the car to go and find out exactly where it was coming down.

"We're going to be too late Mummy!" Oliver cried from the front passengers seat. 

Thankfully, luck was on our side and the balloon was just touching down as we got out the car.

We waited as they clambered out of the basket...... 

Then we watched them pull the canopy to the ground !

They all had to get on the end of the rope. Lots of pulling involved.

It's pretty spectacular stuff to see a great big hot air balloon coming down.

Finally, it came to the ground - but still took quite a long time to deflate.

After that, it was all packed on to a trailer and at that - we went back home for tea !

Anyway - here is the soup recipe for you.

I make it in my electric pressure cooker which has a 6 litre capacity and cook for 1 hour at pressure.

250g red lentils
1 large smoked ham hock
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 bay leaves
4 medium dried chillies
1 tsp ground ginger
2 sticks celery, stringy bits removed then diced.

Basically, shove the whole lot in the pressure cooker, then top up to the 6litre mark with water.

Bring to pressure and then cook for 1 hour. Once releasing pressure, skin the hock and remove the meat, adding the meat only back to the soup.

That's it ! couldn't be simpler...

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