Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Ham and Lentil Soup

Lou's parents bought a pig from one of their friends in California's central valley and gave us a cross-section piece of one of the hams. It was perfect for soup, so we boiled it on Monday evening and had slices of it with some scalloped potatoes. I refrigerated the stock and cut the ham into pieces in preparation to make Lentil soup the next day. Then on Tuesday, I skimmed the fat off the stock, added the cutup ham and:
1 pound of dried lentils
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 onions, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed

If you are brave enough to try this and you find you need additional liquid, add some vegetable stock or water. I added about 3 cups of vegetable stock. And, of course, if you are not fortunate enough to have in-laws with extra hams lying around, you could use a precooked one. Just cut it up and use half vegetable broth and water for the liquid or even just water would probably be pretty tasty.
It was really simple to make and ended up thick and hearty and full of flavor. Not bad for an off the cuff weeknight meal and the leftovers were a very satisfying lunch.

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