This hearty ham and lentil soup is just the thing for a chilly winter day. It’s adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook. I’ve naturally cut down the servings (from 8 to 4) and made a few other minor changes. It’s pretty easy to prepare, and only requires a single pot. And you know how I hate cleanup! Funny, I enjoy the cooking part, but not the mess afterwards.
Since even four servings means a lot of soup for one, let the soup cool, and then divide it up into smaller containers and freeze it. That way, a week or two from now, all you have to do is defrost an individual serving. Add a salad, a chunk of bread, or some cut up fruit and you have a quick meal. And once you’ve made the soup, there are no more pots to clean up.
The original recipe called for bacon, but having none, I used some kielbasa and a ham hock instead. The kielbasa and ham hock get cooked along with the soup, which I think adds more flavor.
Also, the cookbook was written before the age of stick blenders. So it instructed you to use a food processor or a food mill to puree the soup. Too much work! And too much mess. The immersion blender makes all that much easier, faster, and a lot less work to clean up.
Ham and Lentil Soup Substitutions and Variations
- Use bacon instead of the kielbasa and ham hock; cook that first, then remove it and set aside, when the soup is finished, crumble the bacon on top
- Use crumbled pork sausage, or some diced ham instead of the kielbasa and ham hock
- Add a cup of diced tomatoes
- Chop up a scallion and add that to the soup
Tools for Making Your Soup
I have an older version of this, and it is still going strong after years and years of use. It’s great for milkshakes, pureeing soup, and making smoothies. And it’s much easier to clean than my big blender. In fact, I hardly ever use the blender anymore. Instead of cleaning a large appliance, all you have to do is pop off the shaft and wash that. Then wipe the top with a damp sponge.