Try a bowl of this comforting ham and lentil soup that goes perfect during those fall months and to help use up leftover holiday ham!
I always get a little sad as summer turns to fall because living in Chicago I know what comes after that, winter. Winter is brutal here in Chicago so in order to keep me warm through these long months, I thought a nice pot of ham and lentil soup would do the trick!
I know, I know I’m being a bit of a crybaby but I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the long winters here, thank gosh at least for this soup. Now, with that being said I do love the fall here even if it’s short, and this was meant for long football watching Saturdays and feeding the family with plenty of leftovers!
This recipe isn’t just meant to keep you nice and toasty, it’s also a great recipe to use after you’re left with 8,374,038 pounds of holiday ham. I mean for real, there are only so many ham sandwiches one can eat right?
What is a Lentil
A lentil is a legume, or bean, that comes from the Mediterranean area and has been grown and eaten for thousands of years. There are several different varieties of lentils but the most commonly used ones are green, brown and red, and go great with ham.
Lentils look a lot like split pea and come from a pod that grows on a plan much like peas, and then they are dried out. Lentils have an earthy nutty flavor and go great in salads, pilafs, soups and especially with salmon and pork.
Most of the lentils in the United States are grown in the Pacific Northwest and they do need to be rinsed before using so that you can wash off any dirt or get rid of any unwanted particles should any even be in there.
How to Make It
Is there anything better than salty meat put in a soup with a bunch of vegetables? I mean the ham in this soup seasons the broth just about all by itself. In addition to the ham in there, I thought it would be a cool touch to put some sweet Italian sausage in there as well to help spice some things up.
This soup really only needs those two bases, ham, and lentils. What I mean is that this soup is really malleable to make it work for you. No matter what kind of soup I make I usually always start with onions, celery, and carrots.
If for some reason you don’t like one of those ingredients in this recipe, then it is totally cool to not use it. This soup should be absolutely packed with vegetables from top to bottom. This is really more like a stew than a soup because it is so dang hearty.
I don’t know about you but I love the chunks of ham more then I like a few things swimming around in some broth. With that being said you should put whatever types of vegetables you want into this recipe.
Some vegetables that would be great in this soup are:
- Yellow Squash
- Wax Beans
- Butternut Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
Honestly, you aren’t even limited to just those. You should absolutely get creative, see what’s in season and on sale and throw them in the pot of soup.
More Amazing Soup Recipes
Soup Lover? Check out these amazing soup recipes!
- Chicken Dumpling Soup Recipe
- Chicken Detox Soup
- Mulligatawny Soup Recipe
- Classic French Onion Soup
- Tuscan Bean Soup
Ham and Lentil Soup Recipe
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 1 each small diced yellow onion
- 4 each small diced stalks of celery
- 4 each peeled and small diced carrots
- 3 each finely minced cloves of garlic
- 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 2 cups trimmed green beans
- 2 each peeled and medium diced russet potatoes
- 2 lbs medium diced ham
- 96 ounces chicken stock
- 2 cups lentils
- 1 tbsp each chopped fresh parsley and thyme
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Add the sausage to a large pot over medium heat and cook it until browned and cooked throughout about 7-9 minutes.
- Set the sausage to the side and add the onions, celery, garlic, and carrots to the pot and saute for 6-8 minutes in the rendered Italian sausage fat.
- Next, add back in the cooked sausage, ham, green beans, potatoes, and chicken stock and cook on low heat.
- Rinse the lentils and then add them to the pot, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until tender.
- Add in herbs, salt and pepper and serve. Note: Remember soup gets better with time so the longer it can sit and simmer on low heat the better it will taste.