Entered by: kevinCategories: SoupsViews: 4431
(basil, carrot, Habanero, ham, mushrooms, Onions, potatoes, tomato, tomatoes, water, zucchini)
6 dried shiitake mushrooms 2 pounds (4 kg) smoked, meaty ham shank (choose the meaty, flat, rib portions, cut into 3-inch squares by your butcher) 6 large tomatoes, blanched and peeled, or 1 13-ounce (410g) can Italian peeled tomatoes 3 large yellow or red onions, coarsely diced 2 tablespoons tomato paste 12 cups water (10 cups if using pressure cooker) 3 large springs basil 2 potatoes, peeled and quartered 1 large zucchini, coarsely diced 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 6 pieces 2 or 3 hot chiles (such as habanero, Scotch bonnet, or Thai) (optional)
1 Place the dried shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl of water and soak them overnight. Drain before using. 2 Trim any excess fat, sinew, or bone debris from the ham shank. Wash and place them in a large pressure cooker or stockpot (4-5 quart capacity). 3 If using a pressure cooker, add the basil, potatoes, zucchini, carrot, mushrooms, chiles, and the remaining water. Close the lid and cook according to the appliance instructions. However, this soup must be cooked at least 1 hour. After cooking, pressure cookers take a long time cool down before thy can be opened. 4 If using a stockpot, add the remaining water and 2 sprigs of basil. Bring to a rolling boil on high heat, then decrease the heat to medium-low. Boil gently for about 40 minutes, or until the meat between the ham shank starts to soften. Add the third sprig of basil, the potatoes, zucchini, carrot, mushrooms, and chiles. Continue boiling until all the ingredients are well done and the meat on the ham shank is cooked and very tender. The soup should be runny but creamy and thick with vegetable pieces for texture. If it is too thick, however, the saltiness of the ham shank will take over. Add more water as necessary. 5 Once the soup is ready, use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the hot chiles. Serve hot, but do not remove the bones; allow your guests to enjoy the meat on the bones by using their fingers when the soup cools.