Our family likes, no requires, ham for our Christmas and Easter dinner celebrations. I am fine with that, a precooked ham that only needs minimal heating is a pretty easy meal prep and it allows me to focus more attention on sides and baking desserts!
The problem comes days later, when everyone is tired of having ham sandwiches to use up the leftovers. I have made several versions of this ham and lentil soup. I posted one version last year that incorporated corn, which gave the dish a nice sweet flavor. But this year I decided to tryout some thick cut bacon and dill. The result: Wow! This is a keeper 🙂
I started by baking 3 strips of thick cut bacon in a 400°F oven, on a small baking sheet.
While the bacon cooked, I added 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and heated that in a dutch oven. I then add a medium, diced onion and one leek, also diced. Why a leek and not celery? Because I detest celery! I know, who doesn’t like celery? Me, and I am doing the cooking so….
Next into the pot went the carrots, potatoes and dill
Water, salt and pepper were added. The pot was covered, and the vegetables cooked until tender.
The rest of the liquid, lentils and cooked ham were added and cooked until the lentils were tender.
When the lentils were ready it was just a matter of stirring in the final ingredients and heating through. The peas, bacon and yogurt went into the pot. The yogurt acts as a thickener and makes the soup creamy.
Next a big bowl and spoon are needed. I garnished with a little bacon and dill that I had reserved, and voila!
This version is a keeper! If you try it let me know what you think. I am always looking for a way to improve on this 🙂
Ham, Lentil and Dill Soup
Bacon and dill add a unique twist on this hearty soup with a complex flavor that only gets better with time.
-2-4 slices of thick cut bacon
-1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
-1 Medium yellow onion, small dice
-1 Leek, chopped
-3 Tablespoons dill, chopped
-1 pound carrots, small dice
-1 pound yukon gold potatoes, small dice
-1/2 cup water
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-4 cups low sodium chicken broth
-1 and 1/2 cups water
-1 cup dried lentils
-~10 ounces of cooked ham, small dice
-1 cup frozen peas
-3 Tablespoon plain yogurt ( I prefer Greek yogurt)
- Place the bacon strips on a sheet pan and bake in a preheated oven set at 400°F until crisp. Approximately 12-15 minutes. Drain, chop and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and leek; cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, dill, 1/2 cup water, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups water, the lentils and ham; cover and bring to a simmer. Uncover and cook until the potatoes are tender and the lentils begin to fall apart, 12 to 15 more minutes.
- Stir in the peas, yogurt and diced bacon. Ladle the soup into bowls.