Friday, April 5, 2013

Lentil Soup with Ham and Kale

Soup is one of the most basic and easy things to make.  I don't understand why people purchase soup in cans.  If you've never tried to make your own soup, please give it a chance.  It's so much healthier for you, no preservatives, additives, or other ingredients you cannot pronounce.  You'll feel great about eating it and feeding it to your family.  And it's great for feeding a crowd!

I make this soup at least once a year, every time we have a ham bone leftover from a big ham dinner.  I'm not a fan of split pea soup, but we love lentils!  And lentil soup with ham is so versatile.  You can add so many veggies to it and it is the perfect one pot meal.  Plus, preparing it in the crockpot means you come home to a yummy meal all ready for you.  This version has kale, but any green will work.  I've also added red peppers when they are on sale, but you can add anything you have in your fridge or anything you really want your kids to eat.  Soups and stews are the perfect way to get your kids to eat more veggies.  The entire family love this soup - the baby even gobbled it down.  The toddler takes leftovers to school and I feel great feeding my family a meal full of healthy ingredients.  Plus it makes an enormous amount, so you'll have some to eat throughout the week and you can freeze it for a quick fix in the future.  So yummy!  I know your going to love it!

Happy Cooking!

Lentil Soup with Ham and Kale
original recipe posted at
1 ham bone, trimmed of excess fat
1 cup of chopped ham, no fat, meat only 
1 large onion, chopped (I used a red onion because that's what I had on hand)
4 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 16 oz bag of green lentils (I've used brown lentils also, so any will do)
2 bay leaves
1 32 oz box of chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups of water
8 oz of frozen greens (I used Kale, but spinach would work well too)
salt & pepper to taste

Place the vegetables on the bottom of your crockpot.  Place the ham bone on top.
Then add the chopped ham, lentils, stock, water and bay leaves.  At this time, add pepper only (about 1/4 tsp).  Ham can make the soup salty enough, so don't add any additional salt until soup it done and you can taste it for flavor. 
Cook on high for 5 hours, stirring occasionally if you choose.  (I tried cooking this on low, but after 4 hours, I wasn't please with the progress of the lentils.  I truly believe the high heat helps to cook them down).  At this point you can remove the ham bone and the bay leaves. 
Ham bone is gone!  Looks good just like that, but we aren't done yet!
Add the frozen kale (or greens) and continue to cook on high for 30-60 minutes, or until soup thickens and greens are cooked through. 
After adding the frozen kale.
At this point, taste the soup to see if it needs more salt or pepper.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!
As you can see, it thickens up quite a bit.  If you don't like it so thick, you can add more stock or water to thin it out.
Yummy!  Definitely a meal in itself, but you can serve it with a salad or sandwiches - whatever your families likes.


  1. I absolutely love this recipe! I've made it over and over again and am going to make it again right now!! So delicious!!

    1. Thank you so much!!!!
      I don't know why I'm JUST NOW seeing this comment. Lol
      So glad you enjoy it!