Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lentil Soup with Ham and Kale



What better way to warm your body and mind with a comforting bowl of hot soup.  I made a very large pot of this delicious lentil soup to keep us fed so that we wouldn't have to venture out to the grocery stores as it was so cold. 


I've always been a fan of lentil soup and have been making it for years, but when I found this recipe, I knew it would make my old standby pale in comparison.  Right I was!


Bay leaf, fresh thyme, red pepper flakes, white wine, chicken stock and fresh kale all combined to make the most outstanding lentil soup I've tasted. I also added a splash of sherry for flavor.

This is what happens to your kitchen window with a steamy pot of soup brewing on a frigid day:


Oh, to see green outside my windows again! 

Speaking of green, just an FYI for those of you who like to grow your own herbs in the summer.  At the end of the growing season - before my thyme freezes, I cut off all of the stems, wash and spin them dry in my salad spinner and then lay them out on a towel to completely dry.  I put them in zipper bags and freeze them to use in all the recipes that call from thyme during the winter and early spring.  Just throw whole sprigs in your recipe and remove the stems after cooking.  The leaves will soften and fall off during cooking.


Lentil Soup with Ham and Kale

Adapted from Cooks Country
Printable Recipe

Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups dried brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine
7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 ham bone, plus 2 cups leftover chopped ham *see note
1/2 pound kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
Salt and pepper 

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add lentils, carrots, and onion and cook until vegetables are softened and lentils are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine (and sherry, if using) and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, thyme, bay leaf, and pepper flakes and bring to boil.

Add ham bone or shanks, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until thickened and lentils are completely tender, about 1 hour.

Discard ham bone and bay leaf. Puree 2 cups soup until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot and stir in kale and ham. Simmer, covered, until kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

*Note: I doubled the lentils and increased the rest of the recipe by 1/2.  I used 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock plus 1 cup water as I wanted a thicker soup. I used 2 smoked ham shanks and had the deli cut a 1/2" slice of my favorite baked ham that I diced.

48 comments:

  1. Love lentil soup, but have never thought of adding kale. Brilliant idea.
    Sam

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    1. I thought so too! What a great way to get your greens in a warm way :)

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  2. looks wonderful and so sorry about the cold weather hugs

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  3. I love Cooks Country recipes and watch the TV show whenever I can. This looks delicious, Susan. I often make lentil soup but never thought to add white wine sherry to give it a kick.I often make mini turkey meatballs to cook in it and add some small shaped pasta -- it makes it a hearty meal!

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    1. Turkey meatballs and pasta sound like a great idea too, Pat!

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  4. What could be more warming and comforting than a lentil soup at this time of year! Love the add of kale.

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  5. Stay warm! This is definitely a bowl of comfort and deliciousness all in one!

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  6. Sounds like a hearty soup Susan and thanks for the frozen herb tip:@) Stay warm, it's sure been a rough start to 2014!

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  7. I love lentil soup too..I am sure the additions of ham and kale mjust be so good..
    Susan..my daughter and I were nearly blown across the parking lot yesterday..so cold and windy here also..
    Lovely fotos to inspire me to make your soup..and I love the windowpane:)

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    1. The wind was awful here too! Wind chills of -45 to -50 at times. Brrrr!

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  8. What beautiful pictures of your soup. This sounds like a perfect lentil soup recipe. I will be trying it soon, even though it is not as cold out here in Florida. We did get down to 30 last night with wind chills of 12. For Florida that is cold. Can't even imagine what the rest of you are going through. I also loved your owl cookies Susan. Stay warm.

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    1. Wow, that is cold for Florida. Florida has been having such a wonderful winter, otherwise. I hope the orange crops weren't damaged!

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  9. Perfect "Polar Vertex" pot of soup! I'm happy to have your suggestion for freezing thyme. I've just been going out and digging some out of the snow. A bowl of soup, a cup of tea and a good book is what we need for now.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  10. I have everything but the kale - and we love lentil soup. Thanks for the new recipe. We like soup out here to warm us through - the temperatures may not be low, but the fog and damp seem to seep into one's bones and only soup warms one through.

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  11. It's soup weather for sure, Susan. I managed to get out of Chicago during the brief window of no snow on Saturday. It was beautiful but, holy cow, can it mess things up. Love the addition of kale to one of my favorite soups. This will be perfect for the weekend.

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    1. Wow - you were lucky to get out on Saturday, Cathy!

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  12. Yum! I need a pot of that on my stove right now - it is lunch time here. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    It is actually warming up here - 41 as I type.
    Stay warm!!

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  13. Boy, could I use a hot bowl of that soup about now! It REALLY looks luscious & I never knew I could freeze my thyme like that. Darn it! I did put some of the end of my fresh parsley into ice cube trays but that was all I saved.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe, Susan & for the owl one, too, I showed them to Ms. C. & she was tickled pink with the thought of making them. Next overnight visit, for sure!

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    1. Next year for the thyme! Hope Ms. C. likes making the cookies :)

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  14. Beautiful pics, Susan! Love lentil soup.....was my mother's favorite, but her recipe does not have kale. She probably didn't even know what it was! Will add it from now on.
    Happy New Year and stay warm!

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  15. Stay warm! The winter is crazy! Love, love lentil soup. If the the Florida freeze has not killed my kale, I have that too.

    Good advice about the thyme. I never thought to do that-

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  16. What a picture perfect and delicious looking soup! My daughter, Jamie loves lentils and I am embarrassed to say I haven't much experience cooking with them. Your recipe is next on my list of soups to make.

    The frosty window is so pretty. We haven't the unbelievable cold you are having, but for the first time ever, I had frost on the inside of many of my windows yesterday morning. A real warming trend beginning tomorrow. Hope you all warm up too!

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  17. your lentil soup is the prettiest looking one I have seen! lentil soup is part of the cuisine here. it is a real challenge to make it look good, even though it tastes great; here it is done with lots of chard and lots of garlic and cilantro.

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  18. We hear in the news about the freezing temperatures there! Hang in there and eat from this delicious soup to keep you warm my friend!

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  19. This cold has been totally crazy!! I'm glad to hear you've been keeping warm with soup!

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  20. These photos are so gorgeous. Such a warm and comforting soup.

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  21. Stunning photos Sue! We have been making soups all week long with this brutal cold we are having!
    Your lentil soup sounds delicious, we could have a bowl right now!

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  22. Susan these lentils look absolutely amazing I love lentils I bookmarked this to make soon!

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  23. Una gran delicia tiene un aire delicioso sus lentejas muy bueno ,abrazos.

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  24. Happy New Year! I love lentil soup. It's a soup I've been making for years. I need to try this with the kale. What a great addition. It's been cold here, too. Finally a warm up this weekend. Stay warm!

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  25. Lentil soup is one of my favorites...yours looks delicious. Hope you are staying warm, Susan!

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  26. A lovely bowl of soup! I like lentil but have never tried kale!
    And I like the photo of the herbs!

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  27. I love lentils and it's a great idea add kale, I wish you a nice and warm weekend Susan ! Hugs

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  28. Your soup sounds great and perfect for a snowy day like today. My windows are frosted up like that too…the designs are so pretty but it means it is way too cold. :)

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  29. Kale and lentil are fabulous together... lovely recipe for this weather. I didn't go out for days except to walk the dog.. too cold and loved just staying warm inside!!

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  30. I was just telling my wife that it was time to make lentil soup! We made vegetable soup last weekend and plan to make lentil soup tomorrow. This is one of my favorites!

    visit my site sometime,
    Michael :-)
    http://michaelswoodcraft.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/chocolate-cheesecake/

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    1. Thanks, Michael. Loved your chocolate cheesecake recipe!

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  31. That' s the perfect time for a perfect lentil soup like yours Susan !
    Looks so tasty with these beautiful herbs and the addition of red pepper and kale.

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  32. YUM! This looks so satifying for this time of the year and healthy too! Great recipe! Happy New Year.

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  33. Absolutely love lentil soup especially with Kale. This is lovely, and so warming. I bet it smells amazing!

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  34. Beautiful soup Susan, and I love that you have kale and a touch of wine...is perfect for the season...such a comfort dish.
    Hope you are having a beautiful week :D

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  35. We've been enjoying lentil soup this week also. Thanks for the tip on the thyme,

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  36. Love lentils. I think the young generation just now starting to cook needs to understand the value of these old time soups. They need to make a comeback, because not only are they delicious, they are healthy.

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    1. I so agree! I taught my daughter how to make lentil soup when she went away to college :)

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  37. Hello Susan , love the lentil soup with ham and carrots and what a way tokeep warm in these cold and stormy wiinter, thankk you these nice recipe...

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  38. Yum! I just love Cook's Country! I made this soup today for lunch and can vouch that it is delicious! The ham on the opposite page of the article is also delicious. My husband loved the ham and the soup too. I have fresh thyme in pots in the back yard, and I always wonder how soon it is considered "dried" so that I'm supposed to reduce the amount that I use in my cooking. I just keep a few sprigs in the cupboard if I accidentally pull off more than I need. Is it consider "dried" in just a few days, or would I still use it in the same proportions as if I just pulled it off the plant? I need to research this - in fact, I'll do that!

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