Saturday, June 25, 2011

Curry Lentil Soup w/ Ham

My family loves soup. I love soup.  So together we eat a lot of soup.  I find it to be a great way of getting lots of veggies into my kiddos, a great way to use up bones and a meal that can be eaten over a few days.

This soup came about because my kids love ham.  I mean really love it.  That is all they will eat on their sandwiches.  I buy Boar's Head because it's gluten-free and taste fantastic.  It has a tendency to run about $10.00 a pound, some weeks we go through 2 pounds. Do you see where I am going with this post..OUCH to my pocket book.  So, I had an idea or is it an ideal idea ( I love words too and I really wanted to use those two words together) LOL.  

The idea was that I needed to buy a spiral ham.  I figured that I would get more lunch meat out of it, it would taste good and I would have a bone to make a delicious soup with.  We picked a ham that was 10 pounds and we payed $30.00 for it.  

I trimmed the ham of the sliced meat, left a few pieces on the bone for soup and gathered together some chunks for a later meal.  I ended up with 6 zip locks bags for lunch meat, one bone and enough scraps for omelettes.  I was very happy with how my "ideal idea" worked out.

Here is where the recipe comes to fruition.  You know by now that I love to use leftovers and to use what I have on hand.  When the call to create comes you just have to run with it.  I had lentils, an acorn squash and the ham bone.  I made a loaf of fresh bread and we had a fantastic meal.  

Curry Lentil Soup w/ Ham

1 Ham bone, our ham was 10 pounds
1 cup of ham meat
8-10 cups of water...My bone was big and I needed this much water to cover most of it. 
3 large carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
1 Large acorn squash, steamed or cooked until tender
1/2 cup of lentils
garlic, minced
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1-2 tsp of curry.  We like curry and I used 1 T. but I suggest that you start with less and build up to the flavor you are happy with.  Curry does add a bit of warmth to the soup.

1.  I used a large stock pot and added the ham bone, carrots, onion and celery to the pot with 8-10 cups of water.  I tried to cover the bone as much as I could.  I let this cook for about 20 minutes or until the carrots were al dente.  I added the lentils.  Let cook another 20 minutes or until soft.  

2.  I strained the broth off of the veggies. Pulled the bone out of the veggies.  I put the broth in the fridge for 15 minutes to let the fat rise to the top.  Add the salt, pepper, garlic and curry powder. While the broth was settling I made sure the ham chunks were pulled out of the veggies and that there were not any bones or cartilage in the veggie mix.  I cooked my acorn squash until soft. Take the acorn meat and add it to the veggie mix.  

3.  I don't own a fancy blender, but mine works great to puree some soup.  Grab the broth, remove the fat on the top and add 5-6 cups of broth back to the veggies.  You will have left over broth that can be saved for later, frozen or added to this soup, it just makes it thinner.  In your blender, add the soup and blend until blended to the consistency that you like.  We like to see a few pieces of carrots in ours.

4.  I returned the soup to the pot, diced up the ham bits and let it simmer for an hour.  At this time, taste the soup to see if you need to add more salt.  

Serve with buttered bread.  ENJOY!

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