Sunday, April 05, 2009

Lentil Soup with Smoky Ham

From Whole Foods Market

We really enjoyed this soup. Jim though the combination of herbs made it very balanced, but it was a little too herbaceous for me. Next time I make it I will omit the rosemary and sage. --PKS

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for garnish
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup dried green lentils
1/2 cup dried French lentils
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 cup finely chopped ham
1 ham bone (optional)
6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 bay leaf
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth, divided
Black pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar (for garnish)

Heat oil in large soup pot. Add garlic, carrots, celery and onions and cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in green and French lentils, tomatoes, ham, ham bone, 6 sprigs fresh thyme, dried thyme, rosemary, sage, tarragon and bay leaf. Add 1 quart of the broth then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serves 8.

Stir contents of pot then cover again and simmer, adding more broth as needed to maintain a soupy consistency, 30 to 45 minutes longer, or until lentils are soft and tomatoes are broken down. Remove and discard bay leaf and ham bone then stir in chopped fresh thyme and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with drizzles of oil and balsamic vinegar and thyme sprigs.

Per serving (about 13oz/366g-wt.): 160 calories (30 from fat), 3.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 15mg cholesterol, 420mg sodium, 22g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 5g sugar), 11g protein

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