OK, I know it’s not exactly soup weather right now, but it was last week, which is when I made this. This is one of my all time favourite soup recipes, along with homemade turkey soup and chickpea, chorizo, and spinach soup (well that’s the top three anyway, but we can’t forget about Cowgirl soup and Roasted Carrot soup). The cinnamon in this adds depth and warmth without taking over, plus it really pairs well with the ham. Even my husband who is anti-lentil is crazy about this one and I find one pot will feed my family at least twice, so I usually freeze half of it for another day. If you can’t find a ham bone, I would use a greater ratio of broth to water and chop up a ham steak to throw in there.
1 fairly meaty ham bone
8 cups water
2 tsp olive oil
3 medium onions
3 medium carrots
3 sticks celery
3 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 1/2 cups green lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 tsp thyme
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
4 cups broth (chicken is my favourite)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Put ham bone in a large pot (not your soup pot) with water and bring to a boil. Let simmer while preparing the rest of the soup, or for an hour or two if you have time.
2. Chop the onions, carrots, and celery in a food processor if you’ve got one, otherwise finely chop by hand. Heat olive oil over medium heat in your soup pot, then add chopped veggies. Cover and lower the heat to let the veggies sweat (they should cook but not brown) for about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, finely chop the mushrooms (I don’t use my food processor here, I find it makes for a strange texture) and rinse and pick over the lentils. Add mushrooms, lentils, cinnamon, bay leaf, thyme, broth, ham bone and water to pot and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.