Easy Ham and Lentil Soup for One Person

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

Cusinart Stick Blender

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. Unlike mine, this newer version is cordless, so it’s a lot easier to maneuver, particularly in a small space (like my kitchen). It also comes with a whisk attachment.


Chantal Soup Pot

I had no idea how much I needed a pot like this until I got one as a gift. The soup pot I got with my cookware set is far too large, and I hardly use it.  This one is great for small batches of soup, chili, even popcorn. The glass lid makes it easy to see when the corn starts to pop. And it’s a lot easier to handle than a full size soup pot (or a cast iron Dutch oven).

More Lentil Recipes

spicy lamb and lentils

Spicy Lamb and Lentils

A few pantry and fridge staples come together in minutes for a rich and satisfying meal with the aroma of cumin and garlic wafting through your home.

 

red lentil carrot soupRed Lentil Carrot Soup

Cumin, garam masala, and ginger add warmth and spice, while a touch of red pepper flakes give this soup a kick.

 

easy lentils and rice recipeEasy Lentils and Rice Recipe

It may win no prizes for looks, but this recipe is healthy, really tasty, and easy to prepare. And, it features a surprise ingredient you may not expect.

 

single serving lamb and lentil soupLamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

Exactly one serving of  warm, hearty soup with tangy tomatoes, rich lamb, lentils, and fragrant garlic.

 





Apple Glazed Ham Steak Recipe for One Person

When I was little, everyone served ham with pineapple. That’s good, but I think this apple glazed ham steak is better. There’s an enzyme in pineapple that breaks down protein and tends to make it a bit mushy.  Plus you have to get a good pineapple, wonder what to do with the rest of it, or settle for canned.  Apples on the other hand, add a touch of sweetness, plus a hint of tartness. It’s less overpoweringly sweet and it complements the salty ham better.

The other good thing about this recipe is that it’s fairly quick. Sauté the ham steak, set it aside, make the apple topping, and you have dinner in about 15-20 minutes.

Score! There are more quick dinner recipes at the bottom of the post.

If you can, get the ham steak from a butcher.  The pre-packaged kind tends to be bulked up with water and additives.  I’m lucky enough to have a butcher nearby that sells them frozen, so I can buy it and use it when I’m ready.

I made this with brandy, but if you don’t have that, apple cider will work too.  For a more intense apple flavor, try it with apple brandy, such as Calvados, or a hard apple cider.

The Brusssels sprouts, by the way, are tossed with some olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and then roasted.  My new favorite way to eat them!




Apple Glazed Ham Steak Substitutions and Variations

  • skip the cloves and add a bit of tangy mustard
  • try some cinnamon
  • sauté some sweet onions and include them in the sauce (Vidalia onions would work nicely for this)
  • mix up the apples; I used Gala but Granny Smith would add a bit of extra tartness to the recipe and make a nice complement to the ham
  • if you don’t have brandy, use Calvados, or apple cider

More Quick Dinner Recipes

creole cabbage and sausageQuick Creole Cabbage and Sausage

This is a great quick meal when you want food fairly quickly.  It’s also pantry-friendly.  Cabbage lasts a long time in the fridge and the spices are shelf-stable.

 

Polish sausage with cabbage and potatoesOne Pot Polish Sausage and Cabbage with Potatoes

A few basic ingredients that are full of flavor. There are buttery potatoes, braised cabbage, and rich sausage. It’s all made in one pot too.

 

cider braised pork with sauerkrautCider Braised Pork Chop with Sauerkraut and Apples

Apples, pork, and sauerkraut complement each other beautifully. The salty kraut plays off against the sweet apples. This is a classic fall or chilly weather meal.

 

pork tenderloin with mushrooms and sour cream

Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms and Sour Cream.

A rich, creamy sauce boosted by the bite of Dijon mustard and piquant capers —both of which complement the pork beautifully.  And, it’s done in about twenty minutes or so.  The mushrooms are also just about the only thing you have to chop.