Thursday, November 4, 2010

Grandma's leftover Ham and Bacon Lentil Soup



 Grandma's Ham and Bacon Lentil Soup

1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach (remove the stems if desired)
½  cup chopped celery
½  cup carrots, roughly diced
 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fennel chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped
1 cup cooked ham, diced
6 or 7 strips of cooked bacon chopped into pieces
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Garlic salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 to 4 cups chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
1 (16-ounce) package dried brown lentils (2 cups)
Grated Locatelli Romano cheese for garnish

Place spinach, parsley, ham, bacon, tomato paste and seasonings in a 3-quart saucepan or soup kettle. In a food processor pulse celery, carrots, garlic, onion till fine, add to pan. Add olive oil and cook for a few minutes to soften vegetables.

Add 2 to 4 cups of chicken broth and enough water to total 5 cups of liquid to the pot. Add the lentils.

Bring to a boil; lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes uncovered. Watch and add more liquid if the lentils seem dry or the soup is too thick; you may need another 1 to 2 cups.

Partly cover the pot and simmer another 20 to 25 minutes.

This can be very thick, almost a stew, or, with the addition of more broth or water, a thinner soup. Serve in bowls topped with grated cheese. Serve with warm Italian Crusty Bread...
Printable Recipe

8 comments:

redkathy said...

Yummy soup Claudia. Spinach is a nice accent, never had it with lentils! Hope the "cold front" shows up this weekend, the guys just won't eat soup otherwise!

Belinda @zomppa said...

Looks so hearty...I just need some thick crusty bread and I'll be good.

Cookin' Canuck said...

It looks as though Grandma knows her comfort food. This is a full meal in a bowl!

Cajun Chef Ryan said...

Lentils and ham are such a great flavor combination, this soup looks great.

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

I've never cooked brown lentils before but goodness this soup looks warming and wonderful! Ham and bacon in the mix must make it really sing!

Lea Ann said...

mmmmmm I'm such a sucker for soup. This looks delicious, pure comfort food.

Stella said...

Yum, Claudia. This type of lentil soup is one of my favorite soups ever. I even it eat with pork, despite being vegetarian when someone has made it. I just make sure to avoid the meat. I know that's cheating, but it's too good to pass up...!

Claudia said...

I'm really loving the spinach in it - I tend to make my lentil soup - so very brown. I am bookmarking this. It's a keeper for the chilly eves. (Which you don't have!)