Ham and Lentil Soup

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This Ham and Lentil Soup recipe is perfect for chilly weather and cooks up in about an hour; all you need is a loaf of French bread for a cozy winter’s feast. Put your leftover ham to work and make it on the stove, in a pressure cooker, or in your crockpot!

This Ham and Lentil Soup recipe is perfect for chilly weather and cooks up in about an hour; all you need is a loaf of French bread for a cozy winter’s feast. Put your leftover ham to work and make it on the stove, in a pressure cooker, or in your crockpot!

Where can I find a ham bone?

If you don’t have a leftover ham bone from the holidays, go to your butcher and ask for a smoked ham hock or a ham shank.

A ham hock may be a little less meaty, but it will work just fine and still give the soup incredible flavor.

Technically, the hock is the end of a smoked ham where the foot is attached to the hog’s leg.

You could also ask for a ham shank. The shank is from a lower portion of the leg, therefore it’s meatier than the hock.

What kind of lentils for hambone soup?

I recommend any variety of whole lentils for this recipe. Look for a green or brown lentil for making ham and lentil soup.

Red and yellow split lentils will break down into mush, and won’t add any texture to the soup.

The lowly lentil is a pantry staple and a real star on the health front; knowing how to cook lentils will make your soups, salads, and side dishes all the more healthy and delicious. And they cook in just 20 minutes!

 

How do you cook lentils?

Compared to other dried legumes, lentils are easy to prepare. There is no need to presoak lentils, and they take much less time to cook than chickpeas or beans.

I’ve written about how to cook lentils, if you care to explore this easygoing member of the pulse family; I love adding cooked lentils to almost everything!

For making hambone and lentil soup, cooking lentils is just a matter of adding the rinsed lentils to the cooking liquid and simmering until they’re tender. Pre-rinsing is super important, to remove any dust or grit, and to get rid of any pebbles that may have snuck in with the lentils.

The lowly lentil is a pantry staple and a real star on the health front; knowing how to cook lentils will make your soups, salads, and side dishes all the more healthy and delicious. And they cook in just 20 minutes!

 

All the ways to make Ham and Lentil Soup:

On the stovetop, in the crockpot, or in a modern pressure cooker, I’ve got you covered! Keep reading.

How to make Ham and Lentil Soup in a Dutch oven on the stove:

  1. Heat olive oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  2. Next, sauté carrots, celery, and onion until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the broth, water, lentils, ham bone, spices, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then simmer for 45 minutes, until lentils and ham are tender.
  4. When the lentils are cooked, remove the hambone and the bay leaf. Cut the extra ham off of the bone, chop it up, and return it to the pot along with any additional ham you might be using.
  5. Finally, season the soup to your taste with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley, if desired.

This Ham and Lentil Soup recipe is perfect for chilly weather and cooks up in about an hour; all you need is a loaf of French bread for a cozy winter’s feast. Put your leftover ham to work and make it on the stove, in a pressure cooker, or in your crockpot!

 

How to make Ham and Lentil Soup in a slow cooker:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  2. Next, sauté carrots, celery, and onion until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in broth, water, lentils, ham bone, spices, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
  4. Pour into slow cooker and cook on HIGH setting for 3 to 4 hours, or LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  5. When the lentils are cooked, remove the hambone and the bay leaf. Cut the extra ham off of the bone, chop it up, and return it to the pot along with any additional ham you might be using.
  6. Finally, season the soup to your taste with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley, if desired.

This Ham and Lentil Soup recipe is perfect for chilly weather and cooks up in about an hour; all you need is a loaf of French bread for a cozy winter’s feast. Put your leftover ham to work and make it on the stove, in a pressure cooker, or in your crockpot!

 

How to make Ham and Lentil Soup in an Instant Pot:

  1. Using the sauté function on your Instant Pot, heat olive oil until shimmering. Sauté carrots, celery, and onion until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Next, stir in broth, water, lentils, ham bone, spices, and bay leaf.
  3. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, and cook at high pressure for 35 minutes.
  4. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Remove ham bone and bay leaf. Chop ham from bone and return to Instant Pot, along with any extra ham you might be using.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley if desired.

This Ham and Lentil Soup recipe is perfect for chilly weather and cooks up in about an hour; all you need is a loaf of French bread for a cozy winter’s feast. Put your leftover ham to work and make it on the stove, in a pressure cooker, or in your crockpot!

 

Can you freeze Ham and Lentil Soup?

Since the leftovers are even better the next day, make a big double batch or make the soup a day in advance. And yes, you can freeze the lentil soup in portions for another meal when time is short.

This Ham and Lentil Soup recipe is perfect for chilly weather and cooks up in about an hour; all you need is a loaf of French bread for a cozy winter’s feast. Put your leftover ham to work and make it on the stove, in a pressure cooker, or in your crockpot!

 

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Ham and lentil soup in a white bowl.

Ham and Lentil Soup

This Ham and Lentil Soup recipe is perfect for chilly weather and cooks up in about an hour; all you need is a loaf of French bread for a cozy winter’s feast. Put your leftover ham to work and make it on the stove, in a pressure cooker, or in your crockpot!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings (heaping 1 cup each)
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Calories 242
5 from 105 votes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

To make on the stove:

  • In a 3-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Sauté carrots, celery, and onion until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in broth, water, lentils, ham bone, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Simmer until lentils are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Remove ham bone and bay leaf. Chop ham from bone and return to pot. Add additional leftover ham, if using, and cover until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley if desired.

To make in a slow cooker:

  • In a 3-quart pan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Sauté carrots, celery, and onion until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in broth, water, lentils, ham bone, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Pour into slow cooker. Heat on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or until lentils are tender.
  • Remove ham bone and bay leaf. Chop ham from bone and return to slow cooker. Add additional leftover ham, if using, and cover until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley if desired.

To make in an Instant Pot:

  • Press the Sauté button on your Instant Pot and heat olive oil until shimmering. Sauté carrots, celery, and onion until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in broth, water, lentils, ham bone, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, thyme, and bay leaf. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, and cook at high pressure for 35 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally. Remove ham bone and bay leaf. Chop ham from bone and return to Instant Pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley if desired.

Recipe Video

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 16gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 462mgPotassium: 766mgFiber: 18gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 2875IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 5mg
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. My go-to after holiday soup recipe. Easy, healthy, and super yummy. I tend to prefer red lentils to the brown/green ones, but it really makes no difference. You won’t find an easier recipe out there. PRINT and PREPARE NOW :-)5 stars

  2. Delicious, only thing I did different was add spinach near the end.
    Must say though, a three quart pan is too Small, go five quart.5 stars

  3. The flavours in this soup are so good!! I had canned lentils and cooked ham so it came together very quickly! Great weeknight dinner that the whole fam enjoyed.5 stars

  4. Love the flavors! Hubby likes barley so added a quarter cup. Shared it to piinterest and will use this recipe again. Thank you5 stars

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