Ham and Lentil Soup - This lentil soup is an ideal meal on a chilly winter day. It is a great recipe to use any ham bones left over from the holidays. Freeze the soup in individual size servings for a quick and easy lunch or dinner.
Yield: 8-10 servings
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup of diced onions
1 cup of diced celery
1 cup of diced carrots
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
3-4 smoked ham hocks or a ham bone
2 quarts of low-sodium, organic chicken stock
1 pound of organic orange lentils
3 fresh bay leaves
6 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 2 tsp of dried thyme)
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Add the oil to a large 6-quart pot and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and saute for 4 minutes.
Add the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme and saute for another minute.
Add the ham hocks/ham bone and chicken stock.
Bring the liquid to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 1 hour, or until the ham hocks/ham bone are tender.
Remove the lid and add the lentils and continue to cook for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, stirring as needed.
Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Remove the ham hocks/ham bone from the soup. Remove the meat from the bones and add it back into the soup.