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. 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.
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).
I’m now on my third copy of this cookbook! I’ve made soups, desserts, chicken, and all sorts of recipes from it and not one dud yet. The peasant vegetable soup, veal with dill, honey mustard ribs, and the apple cider sour cream apple pie are all outstanding! I made that soup for my mom, along with lamb chops (her favorite food). She never got to the lamb; all she wanted was soup!
More Lentil Recipes
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.
Cumin, garam masala, and ginger add warmth and spice, while a touch of red pepper flakes give this soup a kick.
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.
Exactly one serving of warm, hearty soup with tangy tomatoes, rich lamb, lentils, and fragrant garlic.