Cooking healthy again!
Today I am bringing you lentil soup with vegetables and ham. I first tried this recipe at Vin’s Grandma’s house – she had us over one night for dinner and lentil soup, crusty bread and wine was on the menu. I had not had many lentil soups before this…maybe tried it one time, but this lentil soup was not on my “favorite soups” list. I am a tomato bisque kind of a gal. BUT…Grandma Leta’s lentil soup completely changed my view – this soup is so flavorful, hearty, comforting and HEALTHY. It’s the perfect dinner for anyone trying to eat a bit lighter, but it’s hearty enough to keep you full.
Grandma’s always have the BEST and EASIEST recipes don’t they? This soup looks a little intimidating…like there’s a lot going on there but really it’s very simple and the ingredients are pretty basic too. You just need to get yourself a ham bone…that’s key. Thanks to Easter, there were ham bones galore so I got lucky! 😉
Basic soup veggies go in first – onion, celery, and carrots along with some garlic. Then you add things like a HAM BONE, water, thyme, lentils, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Simple right?
Lentils – a type of bean rich in fiber and protein, low in fat and calories helping to reduce cholesterol. You can find lentils in different colors, brown, orange, pink and green. Trader Joe’s had orange and green ones, I chose the green ones but if they had pink ones, I would have definitely gone with those. At least, my pink shirt reflected in the picture above so they almost look pink. 😉
Basically, they are really healthy and we should eat them all the time. Best part…so easy to cook! They absorb flavors really well which is why the ham bone is so important in this recipe – HAM flavor!
I was afraid the soup was going to look like brown/green mess, but it was colorful and bright. I wonder what the pink ones would look like? Enjoy!
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 celery ribs, diced
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium-sized ham bone or 2 small ham bones
- 2 cups dried lentils, rinsed
- 1 14½ ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 8 cups water
- 1½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons of salt (depending on how salty ham bone is)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Olive oil
- In a large soup pot, heat 3 tablespoons olive and throw in carrots, onion, celery, garlic and ham bone. Saute vegetable until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove ham bone and set aside.
- Stir in dried and rinsed lentils. Then add can of diced tomatoes, water, and dried thyme. Bring everything to a boil then add ham bone back in and turn down heat to low and let simmer for 30-45 minutes until lentils are tender.
- Once lentils are tender, stir in balsamic vinegar and salt.
- Remove ham bone again, cut off any ham and add back into the soup. I would have liked to add a little more ham than what was on the bone so feel free to add more.
- Taste for seasoning. Serve with crusty bread and red wine.