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If you're looking for a new, hearty winter soup, look no further. It's a combination of pork, veggies and a wonderful smokey flavor.
Ingredients: Vegetable oil, about 1/2 lb of smoked bacon (feel free to use more if you'd like), 2 lbs of ham hocks, 1 medium onion (chopped), about 6 chopped carrots, 2 1/2 or 3 lb green cabbage, 5 or 6 cloves of chopped garlic, 2 bay leaves, 32 ounce carton of chicken broth, 2lbs of red potatoes (cubed with skin), salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, all to taste.
Preparation: Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a dutch oven or large pot. Add the bacon and cook until slightly brown. Next add the ham hocks, onions and carrots. Cook until the onions are slightly wilted.
Add the cabbage, garlic, bay leaves along with the salt, pepper and cayenne. Cook until the cabbage is also slightly wilted, then add the the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer to cook for about 30 minutes, uncovered. Next, add the potatoes, cover and cook for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Remove the ham hocks from the soup, let cool and pick off the meat and add to the pot. Skim the top of the soup to remove any excess fat and remove bay leaves.
If you like heat, add more cayenne to your bowl. It goes very well with this soup.