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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Red Lentil Ham Soup

 
This is a very easy soup to make.  Dried, split red lentils (really they are orange) cook very fast compared to most dried beans or lentils.  I think this is because they don’t have the skins on them.  I don’t know what the price for them is in a regular store.  We usually buy ours at an Indian store where they are called Masoor Dal.
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To make the soup:
Cook in a 2 qt. pot:
Chicken or vegetable broth
Lentils (I used at least 1 cup, probably more)
One ham bone
Onion
Garlic
Diced Carrots

Bring to a boil and simmer stirring at regular intervals till the lentils are almost done.  Remove meat from ham bone and discard bone.  Return the meat to the pot.  Finish cooking.  (The lentils are done when they are soft.)
Add salt and black or red pepper to taste.
Lentils are very absorbent, so use plenty of broth or water.  If you are unsure of how much to use start with a little less.  You can add more as you go along.  Lentils will stick to the bottom of the pan (especially when reheating), so do be sure to stir it regularly.
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Depending on the ham and broth you use this meal could be made gluten and lactose free.  If you can’t find safe ham, try some pre-cooked meat of your choice.  The taste will be different, but it will still be tasty.  You could add Cajun seasoning if you use another type of meat to make a very tasty soup!

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