Thursday, August 29, 2013

Crock pot ham n' lentil soup

Howdy! As promised, here's the recipe for the BEST soup I've had in a long time. 

lentil soup for the crock pot


A note on the sauteed veggies in this recipe- you could deglaze your saute pan with wine, but we're finding that lemon or lime juice gives plenty of zip, and tastes as good (or better). I whipped this together the same night that we had the ham, and we've been eating on it for a couple of days. It's a great way to stretch your food budget, plus take some stress out of hectic weekday dinner menus! (Especially now that school's back in session...funny how much MORE there is to do, all of a sudden!)

Heather's Slow-Cooker Lentil Soup

1 ham bone
10 c. liquid, such as water plus juices from making Perfect Ham (make this without the brown sugar)
Scrap ham meat, as desired
1 lb. lentils, rinsed, picked over, and drained
5 carrots, cut into chunks
1 tsp. thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. oregano

1 T. butter or ham fat, skimmed from juices
1 med. onion, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed or diced finely
1/4 lime
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Plop your ham bone and lentils into the crock pot, along with the carrots, and ham scraps. Drop in the bay leaves, crumble the other herbs over that, and add the liquid. In a small skillet or other pan, saute the onions or shallots in the butter or pork fat until golden-brown. Add the garlic, and saute for one minute- just enough to release the garlic scent and turn it opaque, but not burn it. Squeeze the lime quarter into the pan (juice only!), to loosen the onion / garlic mixture, and add it to the crock pot.

lentil soup with ham
Soup, ready to cook

At this point, you can either stow the crock in the 'fridge until the next day, or start cookin'. Run it for 8-10 hours on Low, or 4-5 hours on High, or until lentils are soft. Makes a ton of soup!

lentil soup from a slow cooker
Lentil soup and yummy cheesebread!


Hang in there, guys- it's Thursday, and that long weekend is in sight!
~

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