Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Lentil and Ham Soup

On cold Winter nights, and we have had a few lately, I think of soups and comfort food.This soup can be cooked long and slowly in the slow cooker, or in your pressure cooker, depending on what you prefer. Red lentils don't require any presoaking which is a bonus for busy cooks. 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. 

There are many variations on this kind of soup. I used to make an even faster one using bacon stock cubes which gave it  a nice smoky flavour as well. However they don't seem to be available anymore. I used bacon bones this time which left plenty of room in the pot for the the rest of the ingredients. 
I decided to make this and then realised I had used up all of my onions for a previous recipe. How could I run out of such a staple? However I had a whole bottle of dried onion flakes in the pantry that I had bought for another recipe so I used 3 tablespoons of those instead, and they worked well. This recipe serves serves 8. 


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 or 3 tablespoons dried onion flakes
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 small chopped sweet potato ( optional)
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)

I would only add salt at the end of cooking as the bacon bones may be salty enough.

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, with a grinding of black pepper and a pinch of salt.
  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 this soup with some nice crusty bread or toast. My homemade sourdough bread does the trick.

 My blogging friends will be aware that Blogger has changed it's format so I have changed over for now, and am persevering with the new look. It's all taking more time than usual. I am not aware yet of any new exciting functionalities that are available on this platform but I'm sure there are or will be and look forward to hearing about them from anyone that would like to share and who has been adventurous. 

We are in for some very wet weather here today apparently so this soup will hit the spot. I also have some of it in the freezer for another day. If you are trying to live frugally at the moment as I think a lot of us are, cooking soups like this are one way to do it.

Take care, stay healthy,  and thanks for dropping by,



  1. I eat soup daily, even on the hottest summer days! This looks filling, delicious and loaded with great flavours. I would love some too, Pauline.

    1. Thanks Angie. We just crave for soup sometimes, especially this one.

  2. Pauline, I don't know why Blogger has changed things as I was used to the old format when writing a post. I don't think the actual look of the published blog post has changed though. I still have problems with my sidebar taking so long to download and the 'Reply' button on my comments to work properly as it takes forever for me to reply to comments. I don't know what the problem is as other blogs seem to be okay. I bought some bacon bones today and normally use green split peas with them in soup but have red lentils in the pantry and will use them in my next batch of soup. Thanks for the recipe,

  3. Thanks Chel, I think there are more options with loading photos on the new site, and I guess we will get used to it. Hope the soup works for you, any lentil probably works.

  4. This is the only way I will eat lentils - and they have to be the red ones :)

    1. Thanks Tandy, Lentils are so versatile and I mostly cook with the red ones as well. Love eating them in Winter. :)

  5. The soup looks so delicious! I'll try then!

    1. Thanks Dennis, great to hear from you. Yes it's a delicious soup, Hope you enjoy it.Stay safe.

  6. love that soup tureen pauline! so pretty. lovely warming soup too.:)

    1. Thanks Sherry, the tureen is part of a dinner service that was my Mum's. Still can't part with it.

  7. The soup looks so delicious.
    I've never used ham or bacon bones. I'll remember to buy some when I go to the store next time. :)

    The other day I made leek and potato soup, and also a gazpacho soup.

    1. Thanks Nil, Leeks are just so delicious, I love them in potato soup. Come summer, Gazpacho will be on my list. Hope you are well and coping ok in this crazy covid world.

  8. that's interesting pauline - bacon stock cubes? never heard of them but i think they'd be useful. i knew blogger was changing but i haven't seen the changes yet. Was it different when you put up this post? i have scheduled my IMK post for saturday but i didn't find anything different to normal. i am dreading having to get used to another system...

    1. Thanks Sherry, I probably first was given this recipe by a friend 20 years ago, ouch, and bacon stock cubes were definitely available then and probably only disappeared from supermarket shelves about 5 years ago. They were so handy. Great for a quick bacon flavoured soup without the fuss of bones, however the meat on the bones is tasty.Take care, Pauline


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