Monday, 26 May 2014

Lentil and Ham Soup

This soup can be cooked long and slowly in the slow cooker, or in your pressure cooker, depending on what you prefer. For those that leave the house in the morning to go to work, there is nothing nicer than putting this meal on early in your slow cooker before you leave, and then coming home to the enticing smell of ham and lentil soup. Dinner is ready. However, if you are lucky enough to be enjoying your time at home as I am, you can use your pressure cooker for quick results.

Serves 8.
Ingredients:

500 grams/1 lb dried red lentils (or any kind will do)
1 ham bone/hock or 250 grams bacon bones.(Whatever will fit in the slow cooker)
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
fresh or dried parsley (about 6 stalks of the fresh)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
8 cups of stock or water (homemade vegetable/chicken stock is preferable)

Let's Cook:

  1. Wash the lentils thoroughly under cold running water and place in the crock pot with all the other ingredients, except the liquid, ensuring it all fits in the pot.
  2. Add water or stock. 
  3. Put the lid on and set the slow cooker to low for eight hours, or high for five hours.
  4. Check the soup 30 minutes before the due time, remove the ham bone or bacon bones, put them aside, and stir the soup. Adjust the seasoning to suit your taste.
  5. If you like less vegetable lumps, allow the soup to cool slightly and  puree with a stick blender. Add the meat from the bones back into the soup. Simmer for another 30 minutes if you have time. 
  6. A little swirl of sour cream across the top is nice if you have it before adding more chopped parsley for a garnish.

Enjoy with some nice crusty bread or toast.

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