I turned this:
Here's the linky to the recipe, and here are my mods: I couldn't get one big meaty ham hock, so I bought a couple of smaller pork hocks, and I didn't bother with the dark bread croutons and mustard. I used half water and half chicken broth, and upped the quantity of onion, to reflect a more traditional mirepoix. (I was taught the amount of onion should be equal to the weight of carrot and celery combined.) I sauteed the mirepoix in olive oil instead of butter--the flavor didn't suffer and I cut out a little bit of saturated fat. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Or soup dinner.
The recipe also calls for putting the soup into a blender or food processor and pureeing it until smooth. That's a pain in the butt--you always spill it or splatter it on the ceiling. I like using a stick blender instead. Yes, me and my gadgets, but it's one more thing I'd hate to cook without. They're perfect for making creamed soups, crepe batter, smoothies, and lots of other things. They've also gone way down in price since I bought mine. Stick blenders--they're a good thing! (Martha stole that line from me, by the way. Seriously. But she's got really good lawyers. Whatever, Martha.)