Ham & Lentil Soup (Redux)

When I started thinking about writing this post I was reminded of some of the various church and community cookbooks I thumbed through growing up… the ones where there would be about five versions of most of the recipes.  This is my second Ham & Lentil Soup post (and third Lentil Soup post), but the end result is so different from it’s predecessor.  To make this soup (which is more like a stew, especially the next day) you need a big, meaty hambone (and I am getting a real kick out of saying hambone around here ever since… analyse that!).

ham and lentil soup
Just prior to New Years, I hosted a family gathering that starred a humongous spiral cut honey glazed ham.  It was an awesome piggy and we feasted on it for days.  Eventually a big ol’ bone with a lot of scraps was all that remained – I’m not one to scrape right down to the bone, ick… but it was exactly what I needed to make this rustic soup.
My Ham & Lentil Soup (Redux)
  • 1 big ol’ hambone with plenty of meat left on it… the more the merrier.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup sliced or diced carrot
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed well
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a couple sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt & Pepper to taste (more pepper, the ham will no doubt add almost enough salt)
In your soup pot or large Dutch oven, heat the oil and cook the onions, celery, carrots and garlic until they become fragrant and start to get some colour.
Add in the hambone, lentils, tomatoes, water, bay leaves and thyme, along with a generous twist or two of freshly ground black pepper.
Bring to a simmer and let simmer for as long as you have, at least two hours, but preferably three or four.  You will then need to carefully remove the bay leaves, thyme and hambones (some small ones may be there, so do a really, really good check) and take out any really big bits of ham and chop them into smaller bits and then return them to the soup.  Check for seasoning and soup’s on along with some warm crusty rolls.
This soup is a perfect example of leftovers, or even scraps that may otherwise be thrown out, being transformed into a whole other meal… and how a decadent beginning (honey glazed ham with all the other buffet fare) turned into a hearty and healthy soup that we enjoyed for a few days more.  So instead of just reheating leftovers, transform them into something new… there are always lots of recipes and inspiration here or on my favourite recipe websites including Life Made Delicious.
Do you have multiple recipes for any of the food you enjoy making, or do you tend to find a version and stick to it?
Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
About Heather Nolan

Heather Nolan lives just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. She loves her lil' family, her cats, traveling, and creating in the kitchen. Her iPhone is often confused for a conjoined twin.


  1. This looks SO yummy! Thanks!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Heather. Could you substitute split peas in this receipe. Your dad doesn’t really like lentils. It looks yummy! Mom

  3. Susan T. says:

    My family makes a soup very similar to this but with navy beans instead of lentils. We’ll have to try this next time!

  4. Anne Taylor says:

    This looks and sounds so good! We love cooking with lentils!

  5. Delicious recipe, thanks!

  6. Heidi C. says:

    I tend to stick to the same version as I have four very picky eaters. They love ham so I think they would love this soup!

  7. Heather: That looks fantastic. I have never tried this type of soup but I am very interested. I love ham and i like lentils a lot so great combination.

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