Lentil and Ham Bone Soup

This soup is a perfect comfort food. I made it for my husband after he went to the dentist. (His teeth are good- he went for a routine cleaning, but a trip to the dentist deserves some special food) The scent will fill your kitchen and make your stomach start to rumble. The soup is even better the next day.

To start the soup pour olive oil into a large cooking pot and chop up onion. Add the onion, then chop up carrots and add them, Next, chop and add the celery. I add everything to the pot in that specific order because the onion juice flavors the oil nicely, and the carrots take longer to sauté than the celery. Lastly, add the minced garlic. I let everything sauté for a few minutes and enjoy the rich scent. Now it is time to add the ham bone. I put the lid on the pot and let it cook for a few more minutes.

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Meanwhile,  mix 1 tablespoons of beef bouillon with 2 cups warm water. The water needs to be warm in order for the bouillon to dissolve. Pour the water in the pot. I add about 4 more cups of water. The water level should almost cover the ham bone. I say almost because when we add the lentils the water level will rise and then the ham bone will be completely covered.

The prep work for the soup is coming to an end. I add a 1 lb. bag of lentils to the soup and about 1/4 cup of tomato sauce. I try to avoid pouring the lentils directly onto the ham bone. Mix everything together by stirring slowly.

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Season the soup with oregano, basil and pepper. Add 2 bay leaves. (I always have extra bay leaves because my mom has a tree and always gives me more. But if you don’t have any on hand, that’s okay.). I don’t add salt because the ham bone and beef bouillon already has some. Raise the temperature to mid-high so the soup will boil.

After the soup comes to boil, I reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. About 20 minutes I remove the ham bone and pick off the meat. The meat is soft and falls off easily but be careful because it is steaming hot. Put the meat in the pot and the bone in the trash.

Warning- this recipe makes a lot of soup. Plan for leftovers! I love to use the leftover soup on top of rice the next day. The beans will absorb the water quickly so by the next day it isn’t as souplike and is perfect for eating with rice. if you want it like soup the day after, just add water.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ham bone
  • 1 pound of lentils
  • 1/4 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions:

  1. Pour 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large cooking pot. Add chopped onion, carrots and celery. Sauté.
  2. Add minced garlic.
  3. Add ham bone.
  4. Fill measuring cup with 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon of beef bouillon. Pour into pot. Add 4 more cups water, enough to almost cover ham bone.
  5. Add 1/4 cup tomato sauce.
  6. Add 1 lb of lentils. Stir.
  7. Sprinkle with oregano, basil and pepper. Add 2 bay leaves.
  8. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer for 50 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove ham bone and pick off meat. Put the meat back in the pot. Discard bay leaves before eating.
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