Split lentil soup with ham and Kale
It’s been too long since I’ve posted a recipe (work and baby on the way will do that) so I wanted to get this one up I made the other night to share with some good friends that just had their own new baby! There was a sale on hams at the grocery store so I got one with making a soup from the bone in mind. It cost just under $23 and between a ham dinner, ham sandwiches, Cubano sandwiches and this soup we are getting about 12 meals from it! I made my own stock but if you’re pressed for time or don’t have a ham bone handy you can substitute chicken stock.
For the stock:
Bring ham bone, saved cuttings (fat, skin etc), 2 roughly chopped carrots, one roughly chopped onion and 3 roughly chopped pieces of celery to a simmer/light boil. I like to put everything in the pot then bring water up to almost the top of it depending on size. Let this mixture simmer away for at least an hour (which will reduce the water amount and increase flavor) then strain into a large bowl to save for later.
Ingredients for soup:
-Ham Stock (homemade as above or chicken stock)-Approximately 10-16 cups depending on how much you want to make and if you want leftovers. (I always want leftovers)
-1 diced white onion and half diced red onion
-1 large bunch kale with stems removed and chopped
-4 carrots peeled and chopped
-4 pieces of celery chopped
-1 full bag of red split lentils (split peas would work just as well)
-1 regular sized bowl chopped cooked ham (1.5-2 cups)
-4 cloves garlic diced
-2 tablespoons butter
-2 tablespoons olive oil
First off, I wanted to note that I didn’t add any salt at all to this soup as the ham stock had plenty of salt on its own. However if you use a sodium free chicken stock or something similar you’ll need to add some, just wait until everything is cooked together then taste and adjust salt/pepper as needed. I did add pepper a couple times during the cooking process.
To start off, with put your butter and olive oil into a large soup pot with heat at medium and sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes until they start to turn translucent. Next, add in your carrots and celery and cook all together for another 3-5 minutes stirring quite often. Now is a good time to add a little pepper, as “they” say season at every level. After the onions, carrots and celery have cooked down a little add in the chopped kale and diced garlic and cook for another couple minutes just to blend all the favors.
Now start adding your stock and split lentils. I like to add 3-4 cups of stock, then the lentils then more stock depending on how thick/thin you want your soup. Plan on the lentils soaking up at least ½ cup of liquid and remember you can always add more stock after its cooked down and the lentils have absorbed all the water they are going to. I ended up adding about 1.5 additional cups of stock after everything had cooked together just to thin it out a little bit. Simmer everything for about 20 minutes which will allow enough time for the flavors to marry and the lentils to get fully cooked. Serve this with a simple salad and some good crusty bread for dipping. Enjoy!