Last week it was our turn to host Crappy Dinner Party, so we pulled out a bone-in ham from our deep freezer to smoke in my husband’s smoker. We were worried the ham might be dry but it was ridiculously good. Since we had some leftovers, we put the bone and the leftovers back in the freezer for another time.
Fast forward one week, and I was craving soup. I checked out my pantry and saw that I had green lentils, potatoes, and onions. In my fridge I had carrots and celery and Better Than Bouillon. I knew I had what I needed to make something really yummy. After reading several recipes and adjusting for what I had, here is the recipe that I created.
NOURISHING LENTIL SOUP
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2-3/4 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
2 cup green lentils, rinsed and picked over
12 cups stock (meat or vegetable) homemade, or store-bought. I like Better Than Bouillon
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups cubed ham
1 ham bone, if you have it
In a dutch oven or soup pot, place the soup bone, if you are using, and 12 cups of water (if using Better Than Bouillon) or stock and heat until boiling. Lower heat to simmer for at least an hour (I left mine on for several hours). Using a slotted spoon, remove the soup bone. If you are not using a soup bone, skip ahead to sautéing your vegetables. Add a few tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon if you aren’t using stock. In a separate pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes minutes. To the pot of stock, stir in lentils and softened vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer at least 10 minutes.
Finally, stir in potatoes and ham and simmer covered until potatoes are softened, at least 10 minutes. This soup can stay on simmer for a long time before serving.
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