Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ham and Lentil Soup

Well, first I must explain that I love Carrabba's Lentil and Sausage Soup... Recently, for reasons beyond my control, they took it off the menu--Very unfortunate!

So, I have been wanting it, but they don't have it, and sausage isn't exactly part of the "healthy lifestyle" I am attempting to lead.

So, we set out on a quest to make our own... We started with a recipe on the back of the lentil package and looked around the internet and really just went with tastes... here is how it came out...

Ham and Lentil Soup (about 8 servings)
1 TBL Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 package lentils
1 package lean ham already cut up (8oz)
2 small onions, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, diced
2-3 garlic cloves
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
8 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
splash of balsamic vinegar in each serving when you serve it...

Heat oil in a soup/stock pot over medium high heat. Add ham, onion, celery, garlic, carrots and saute until tender. Add beef broth and bring to a boil, add in lentils and other ingredients. Let cook - uncovered on a simmer (low heat) for about 20 minutes.

***I find that it is best to first season with salt and pepper when you are heating vegetables up and then add a little more salt before you put the lentils in and then see where you wind up...

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