I always like cooking ham and I often find myself thinking that my favorite part is the leftovers; especially that ham bone. Ham bones can be used to either make a nice ham stock or you can just throw the bone right into any number of tasty soups and it adds a ton of flavour as simmers away. This time I was thinking that I don't use lentils often enough and that a ham and lentil soup would be really nice. I don't normally use a recipe for these kinds of soups as they are so easy. After I have decided on the primary ingredients I normally go for the standard onion, carrot and celery combo along with some stock. From there I add a few herbs, fresh or preserved and I like to finish the soups off with a green vegetable, in this case I went with some spinach. The soup is really easy to make and once you are done with all of the chopping you can relax while it simmers and draws out all of the flavours. The ham and lentil soup turned out great! It was nice and tasty and I really enjoyed the texture of the lentils in the soup. I will need to experiment some more with lentil soups.
Ham and Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 carrot (chopped)
- 2 stalks celery (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 4 cups ham broth or chicken broth or chicken stock
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 2 cups ham (diced)
- 1 ham bone (optional)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- pepper to taste
- 1 bunch spinach (rinsed and trimmed)
- Heat the oil in a large sauce pan.
- Add the onions, carrot and celery and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, a few minutes.
- Add the stock, lentils, ham, ham bone, oregano, bay leaf and thyme and simmer, covered on low heat for an hour.
- Remove from heat and stir in the spinach.
Slow Cooker: Optionally implement steps 1-3, place everything except the spinach in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or high for 2-4 hours before adding the spinach.