Simple Leftover Ham Bone, Carrot and Lentil Soup

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I was recently given a leftover ham bone that was intended for my dogs, but being of frugal German stock, I had to make soup first! As a child, I learned from my Opa (Grandfather,) who never wasted anything, to use a ham bone to prepare a delicious soup or stew base. I definitely inherited my love of soups from him.

Soup may seem like a strange choice for a hot July day in Arizona, but I had to use the ham bone before it spoiled and I also had a bag of lentils languishing in the pantry. So, I have prepared the soup and put it in the freezer to serve when the temperature cools down. Can't wait! This is definitely comfort food, and at less than 100 calories per serving, I can enjoy two bowls to warm my tummy on a crisp, autumn night.

BTW...the dogs enjoyed the ham bones when I was done with them. =)

Simple Leftover Hambone, Carrot and Lentil Soup

Hambone or Hamhock
Onions, raw, 1 medium, diced
Baby Carrots, raw, sliced in thirds
Water, tap, 6 cup
Lentils, 2 cup (or 1 lb. bag)
Spinach, fresh, half of 10 oz package
Olive Oil, 1 tsp

Optional Ingredients:
Garlic Salt
Berbere Spice or Curry Powder
Seasoning Salt

1. Warm olive oil is stock pot over medium heat. Add diced onions and sliced carrots. Saute until onions are translucent.

2. Add 3 cups of water and the ham bone to the pot. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down, cover and simmer for 2 or 3 hours.

3. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Place pot in refrigerator until the contents are cold.

4. Remove pot from refrigerator. Remove hambone and spoon off the white fat that will collect at the top of the liquid. Discard fat.

5. With fingers, remove meat from ham bone, tearing it into bite-sized pieces. Return meat to the pot and discard the bone.

6. Add 3 cups of water and lentils to pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30-60 minutes. Add spices to taste. Do not add salt or garlic salt until the end of the cook time or the lentils may become tough.

7. Stir in spinach and serve. Enjoy!

Number of Servings: 8
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