This tasty ham and vegetable soup is packed full of nutrition and because it’s so filling it’s a great help in avoiding the temptation to reach for those unhealthy in-between meal snacks! A hearty, healthy soup that makes 6 to 8 portions, and is ideal for freezing too.
I was introduced to this ham and vegetable soup, by very good friend of mine, Nicola, over 20 years ago, when I was in my first job after university. It quickly became a staple and indeed, it probably saved me from malnutrition! This is still more or less the original recipe that she wrote down for me – all credit to her!
This ham and vegetable soup is also my wife’s favourite soup. She loves it because it’s extremely flavoursome and very filling. I tend to only have a small roll when I have this soup, as I’m so full up when I’ve eaten it. This is another “batch” recipe. The recipe below will make between 6 – 8 portions for you to freeze. It’s also a great winter warmer.
There’s no need to use any spray oils for any softening of the ingredients in this ham and vegetable soup. It can just be make simply by putting all the ingredients into one large pot and watching it bubble away on the stove!
If you have time to follow the preparation part the night before and in the morning then all the better. But if you don’t, or can’t get the bacon joint, then you can skip straight to the preparing of the ingredients. Ham stock cubes will do just as well.
- 1.5 litres ham stock (made by night before method below or ham stock cubes)
- 175g red split lentils
- 2 large leeks, cleaned and chopped into 1cm strips
- 4 peeled and chopped medium sized white potatoes
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper
- In a large pot (enough to hold 2.5litres of liquid in total) place a ham/bacon joint, cover with cold water, bring to the boil, and simmer for approximately 1.5 hours. Switch off the heat and cover the pot leaving it overnight for the flavours to marinate.
- Remove the bacon joint from the cold water and set aside, skim off any fat from the liquid in the pot. Chop off little pieces of the bacon meat (do not add any bacon fat) from the joint and add back to the liquid. Bring the liquid back to the boil and leave simmering gently. Meanwhile prepare the vegetables.
- Bring to the boil and turn down to simmer the 1.5 litres ham stock (with bacon meat pieces if used)
- Add the red split lentils, chopped leeks, chopped potatoes and diced carrots.
- Bring all the ingredients back to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add boiled water from your kettle if required to top up.
- Once all the vegetables are extremely soft, turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool for about 30 minutes.
- Use a potato masher to mash all the veg. Do not puree the ingredients; just mash them down to a consistency you like. Add boiled water from your kettle if you need to add more liquid.
- Add the chopped parsley and stir in thoroughly.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
You could have this ham and vegetable soup as your main meal with a couple of hunks of homemade bread!
Incidentally, I did not use a bacon joint in the picture of the soup that you see. I used 3 ham stock cubes and added a piece of chopped quite finely gammon joint that was left over from Christmas, and in the freezer. Then I added all the vegetables. So you see this ham and vegetable soup can be make with what you’ve got left over too.
I hate to waste anything; our freezer is full of lots of frozen leftovers which can easily be made into lots of different tasty soups. I find it a challenge to create soups and recipes from these bits and bobs, which are perfectly good, and should never be thrown away.
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