Leftover Ham? No Problem!

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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.

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When the bacon was nice and crispy it was drained, chopped and set aside for later.

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….

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the onion and leek are cooked until it begins to brown

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.

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The rest of the liquid, lentils and cooked ham were added and cooked until the lentils were tender.

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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.

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Next a big bowl and spoon are needed. I garnished with a little bacon and dill that I had reserved, and voila!

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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

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Bacon and dill add a unique twist on this hearty soup with a complex flavor that only gets better with time.

Credit: invisible-no-more.com

Ingredients

-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)

 

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Stir in the peas, yogurt and diced bacon. Ladle the soup into bowls.
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I miss food: Dreaming about my last meal!

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I am having a colonoscopy today, in about four hours. It is not my first and won’t be my last, as I have rotten personal genetics in this respect.  If you have had the pleasure then you are fully aware that fasting the day prior to the procedure is required. One thing I learned yesterday, while feasting on popsicles and jello, is that my Instagram and Facebook are all full of images about food! I always knew my feeds were culinarily loaded, maybe more so than others in my non-blog world, but I really thought there would be other photos. Sure, there was the occasional sponsored messages and pics of people skiing-still snow in our mountains. But, 97% (yes, I did an actual calculation) was food related! Where were the runners, climbers and gardeners in my life when I really needed them! As I sit here this morning, drinking the last assignment from my doctor and watching Good Morning Football to prepare for the NFL draft, I find myself dreaming of all the food I can have after 2pm today. My thoughts keep drifting back to the Ham and Lentil soup I made for my “last supper” on Monday night.

This is a pretty straight forward soup that gets better each day as it sits in the fridge. I followed the recipe close to the original, except I rarely measure anything when making soup.

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I also rarely use celery in my soups as I just don’t love it! I will substitute with leeks or fennel, depending upon the overall flavor profile. For this soup I chose leeks. I also added more potatoes, carrots and peas than the ratios stated in the original recipe. I routinely use plain greek yogurt for thickening my soups as I prefer that to high fat sour cream, which this recipe already specified, so that worked well too. I did add some white wine to deglaze and subtracted that amount out of the total recommended liquid volume, but that is just me and not necessary-the recipe would be delicious just as written!

In my opinion, all soups and stews need a good salty roll or bread for dipping. And, by now you have probably guessed that I love to make my own bread. But this was a bit of a last minute decision the other day and I did not have any bread proofing on the counter for this meal. So, I  went to a handy and tasty short cut I use all the time. I use frozen dinner rolls from throllse store, my preference is Rhodes dinner rolls. I take the amount I want, place them into a baking dish, cover and pop them into the oven on proof (this is 100°F). They are fully proofed in about 3 hours, then go into a 350°F for 20 minutes. I brush them with melted butter, while they are still warm and sprinkle with fleur-de-sel and thyme. I just use any herb that complements the soup, sometimes rosemary or sage are a better choice. My family loves them, and will specifically requests these rolls, there are never any leftovers and I get to have that fresh bread taste in less time.

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So this is where I am at now-dreaming about rolls and soup. The reality is I will get a banana right after the procedure and slowly be able to work my digestive tract up to normal over the course of the day. I will run and climb later this week (can’t wait to get my life back!)

Next up for culinary: I am thinking about cinnamon apple babka!

 

Ham, Lentil and Corn soup

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We were hungry last night and, of course, we had nothing prepared. So, I started rummaging around in the pantry and fridge and came up with this pile of ingredients.

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We also had some leftover Honeybaked ham from Christmas dinner. I decided to challenge myself and try to put together a ham and lentil soup.

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I started by heating the oil in a large Dutch oven, and browned the onion, carrots and potatoes.

soup-3I added ½ cup water, salt and pepper then covered the pot for ~10 min. Next in the pot went the chicken stock, lentils and thyme and the mix simmered, uncovered until the lentils were tender (this took about 20 more minutes)

Since my ham was fully cooked, it was added near the end just to warm through. The fresh corn was added for only the last 2-3 minutes to finish the dish.

Pretty quick and simple! And most important, tasty! This soup was even better the next day.

By the way, if you are following Gratitude for Attitude 30 day challenge, I have decided to just update the post as opposed to reblogging everyday. I was worried your inboxes would get too full after a full month!

Ingredients

1 T olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, medium dice

1 lb. carrots, medium dice

1 lb. Yukon gold or red new potatoes, medium dice

½ cup water

1 t. kosher salt

1 t. fresh ground pepper

4 C. chicken broth + 1 C. water

1 C. dried lentils, rinsed well

4-5 sprigs fresh thyme

8 oz. cubed cooked ham

2 ears of fresh corn, kernels removed, or 1 cup frozen corn

Directions

-Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and potatoes and cook until light brown.

-Add ½ cup water, salt and pepper and cook, covered, until the vegetables soften, ~10 minutes.

-Add the chicken broth, dried lentils and thyme leaves bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables and lentils are tender, ~ 20 minutes.

-Add the ham and corn for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Serve hot.