Lentil Soup

I was looking through my Kitchen Captivated column archives over the weekend realizing just how much soup I make. It’s for sure my go-to meal. Soup accomplishes several important tasks: generally healthy (as long as its not cream or cheese based), lots of vegetables, one-pot meal and most importantly, its something tasty, comforting and typically the entire family will eat it.

So all that to say, whether it’s vegetable, tomato or chicken noodle, I would say my big orange pot gets put to pretty good use each week.

This winter I’ve been making a ton of lentil soup. I wasn’t sure if the kids would like it but they gobble it up. It’s not much to look at, but it is so delicious and hearty and a great meal to help combat the winter blues.

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Easy Lentil Soup with Ham

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 red potatoes, diced
  • 1 28 ounce can of organic diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup red lentils (rinsed)
  • 1 pound ham hock
  • 2 boxes organic chicken stock
  • 1/2 bag (2 big handfuls baby spinach)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

In a large pot, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Sauté onion, carrot and celery for 5 minutes until onions are translucent and the veggies start to soften. Salt and pepper. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add tomatoes and potatoes. Sauté for an additional five minutes. Add the ham hock, chicken stock, lentils and spices. Salt and pepper. Cover the pot and cook on low for several hours or put into a 300 degree oven for several hours. Stir occasionally. When the ham begins to fall off the bone, your soup is ready. Remove the bone and any fatty pieces of meat. Stir in spinach and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes while spinach wilts a bit. Before serving, remove bay leaves.

You can also use a ham steak in place of a ham hock. Just dice it into bite size pieces.

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