Monday, December 20, 2010

Lentil Soup with Ham Bone

Is there anything more yummy on a cold winter day than a big bowl of steamy lentil soup?  Nope!  And here's my favorite recipe.

1 lb lentils, washed and drained
1 celery rib, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped fine or grated
1/2 C chopped onion
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp dried thyme
7-8 C water
1 ham bone, thinly sliced kielbasa, or hot smoked sausage
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

1.Combine all ingredients except for salt and pepper in slow cooker.
2. Cover.  Cook on low 8-9 hours.  Remove bay leaf and ham bone.  Dice meat from bone and return to cooker.
3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Serve alone, or over rice with grated cheese on top.

** My own side note:  When I cook my ham, there is generally lots of yummy juice (okay, fat) in the bottom of the pan.  I save this, and use it to replace some of the water.  I pour the juice into the measure cup, and then round out the rest of the 8 cups with water.  It gives the soup a really lovely flavor.  And who worries about calories if you've just been shoveling snow.