Brian & I went to the annual LCC staff Epiphany party at Pastor Dave’s house on the 6th. I decided to take lentil soup, but didn’t want to bring the usual. I looked through my hundreds of lentil soup recipes and finally found one to try. I got it out of my 1000 Low Fat (Salt, Sugar & Cholesterol) Recipes book. It’s a monster of a book, and I have a “sister” vegetarian book (1000 Vegetarian Recipes) that’s got some great recipes, too. Anyways – back to the soup… It turned out sooo good! Brian & I really liked it a lot. It’s very “holiday-ish” – meaning, the spices added to it make it seem like more of a holiday soup (all-spice), so it will probably become one of our “comfort” soups (you know – when it gets cold here in Florida (when it reaches 60!).
Lentil & Ham Soup
1 cup red lentils (I think I used the green ones, but it’s really no big deal)
6 1/4 cups stock (or water)
2 onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 lean ham knuckle (I had some leftover Honeybaked Ham in the freezer that I just cut up)
4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
9 oz potatoes, chopped
1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp ground all-spice (I used nutmeg & cardimum)
salt & pepper to taste
scallions or fresh parsley, chopped to garnish
1) Put the lentils and stock (or water) in a pan and set aside to soak for 1-2 hours.
2) Add the onions, garlic, carrots, ham, tomatoes, and bay leaves. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
3) Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour until the lentils are tender, sitrring occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
4) Add the potatoes and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes and the meat on the ham knuckle are tender.
5) Remove and discard the bay leaves. Remove the knuckle (if used) and chop the meat. Press half of the soup through a strainer or blender until smooth. Return to the pan with the rest of the soup and add the meat.
6) Adjust the seasoning, add the vinegar and allspice. Simmer gently for a further 5-10 minutes. Serve sprinkled liberally with scallions or chopped parsley.