This simple Slow Cooker Lentil Smoked Ham Soup is so flavorful, no one will guess just how easy it is to make. I love smoky flavors and one of the easiest ways to infuse soups with smoke is to add a ham bone or smoked turkey parts. At a recent holiday party, one of the guests was given a little package to take home – a ham bone from that evening. We had a good laugh because we understood what that bone could do for a pot of soup.
A number of years ago, I took a cooking class with a local French chef and he made the most incredible lentil soup. The recipe was so simple, yet the soup had such flavor that I still remember that bowl of soup. The key to his lentil soup was simply adding some smoked ham. I have to confess my love for smokey flavors. You might remember my Smashed Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon and Egg, Smoked Avocado Salsa, Smokey Gouda Macaroni and Cheese, Smokey Peruvian Chicken, Smoked Red Curry Coconut Chicken, Wok Smoked Tea Fish and Wok Smoked Tea Chicken.
In my book, smoke is akin to a spice – it’s a flavor enhancer for sure. Whether you’re actually smoking food or using smoked ingredients (e.g., smoked Spanish paprika, smoked salt, smoked salmon or smoked turkey or ham), just a touch of smokiness can really bring a dish to whole new level.
Recently, I found a piece of smoked ham bone that was humanely raised, uncured (no nitrates), antibiotic-free and hormone-free at Whole Foods. That’s a mouth-full, but the reason I mention that is I try to avoid foods that are unnatural, or that have been treated with chemicals. I love smoked foods, but I eat them in moderation, so when I do enjoy them, I try to make sure they are prepared in the cleanest way (hormone-free, antibiotic-free, preservative-free).
This simple Slow Cooker Lentil Smoke Ham Soup recipe is so flavorful, no one will guess just how easy it is to make. I served this soup to friend recently on a day when it was just 18 degrees outside, and it was a real belly warmer. We each enjoyed a bowl of this soup along with this Quinoa Beet Kale Apple Walnut Goat Cheese Salad.
Slow Cooker Lentil Smoked Ham Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 carrots peeled, chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 cup lentils I used sprouted lentils, rinsed and rained
- 1 piece uncured smoked ham bone
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon Fines Herbes
- 3 cups salt-free or low sodium chicken broth
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add carrots, celery, onions and garlic; saute 4-5 minutes until onions are softened. Transfer to slow cooker and add lentils, smoked ham bone, bay leaf, thyme, Fines Herbes and chicken broth. Cook on high for 4 hours.