Tag Archives: leftover ham

Ham Lentil Soup Recipe

Today, I am sharing my newly-developed recipe for Ham Lentil Soup that is made from a leftover ham bone, broth, and ham.

If you are a regular follower of my food blog, by now you have likely figured out that I am a fan of leftovers and of foods that generate leftovers that can be used in other dishes.  One of my favorite comfort food meals is a boiled ham dinner.  I blogged about this back in 2013. I buy a large smoked pork picnic ham, place it in a big stockpot with lots of water and boil it for a good while then add the vegetables to make a meal-in-one-pot soup.  Easy-peasy and, oh, ever-so-tasty. However, these hams are almost always quite large and there is a lot of meat. After a couple of days of leftover ham with scalloped potatoes, sandwiches, and perhaps my Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole, I find it’s time to do something else with the ham and the flavorful broth in which it was boiled.

I’ve decided that all that good ham broth should not go to waste so I have developed a recipe to use the leftover ham broth and ham to make a tasty soup… a second soup, of sorts, from the same piece of meat.  Ham Lentil Soup is a good economical way to use leftovers.  You will need to refer back to my 2013 post for directions on cooking the ham in order to get the ham broth, so go ahead and click here for those instructions.  Make sure you use enough water to cook the ham so that you end up with 7 cups of ham broth and, remember, the water will reduce as the ham cooks so you will most likely need to top it up during the cooking process.

Ham Lentil Soup
Ham Lentil Soup

Now, this leftover Ham Lentil Soup could be made without the ham broth, instead using all chicken broth or vegetable broth. However, what would be missing would be the wonderful flavor of the natural ham broth. So, after I have removed the cooked ham from the stock pot, what I do is refrigerate the ham broth overnight. A layer of fat will form on the top of the broth. Skim all of that off and discard it.  Strain the broth through a cheesecloth lined strainer to remove any remaining whole bits of fat.  Place 7 cups of the ham broth along with the meaty ham bone striped of most of its meat, and the addition of several wonderful spices into a large stockpot. The bone has great flavor in it and the spices will enhance the ham broth and form a flavorful foundational base for the soup.  It’s the broth that makes this soup so it needs lots of flavor. After this broth has cooked slowly in a large stock pot under cover for about 45 minutes, it will have reduced down to about 4 cups or so. Strain this so you have a clear broth.

Then, get those aromatics cooking in the oil. Add the strained ham broth and top it up with 4 cups of vegetable broth so you have 8 cups of liquid.  The great part about this soup is that if you end up with more than 4 cups of strained ham broth, just add less vegetable broth or, conversely, if you have less than 4 cups of ham broth, top it up with more vegetable broth.  Follow the recipe for when to add the different vegetables and lentils that require different cooking times. If there is a vegetable you don’t like, simply replace it with an equal amount of a vegetable you prefer.

Ham Lentil Soup
Ham Lentil Soup

This is a great way to totally maximize the use of a large ham. When you get tired of it, dice up the leftover ham and use it in this soup. Anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 cups of leftover ham will suffice for this recipe. It’s meant to be a brothy, not thick, soup. I have added some orange lentils to this soup for extra substance but also because lentils are a good source of dietary fiber, protein, and minerals. I have chosen orange lentils because they cook in a relatively short time, usually about 20-25 minutes. Don’t overcook the soup after adding the lentils or they will turn to mush. The lentils will still be flavorful but they will have lost their shape if cooked too long.

This Ham Lentil Soup is a good way to maximize and change up leftover ham and it also freezes well.

Ham Lentil Soup
Ham Lentil Soup

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Ham Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

Step 1:
1 leftover meaty ham bone
7 cups liquid (ham stock, chicken or vegetable broth)
2 whole star anise
10 whole cloves
½ cinnamon stick (about 3”)
3 cardamon pods
5 whole peppercorns
1 large unpeeled garlic clove
2 whole allspice
2 bay leaves

Step 2:
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
2/3 cup onion, chopped
2/3 cup celery, chopped (apx. 1 large stalk)
1/3 cup parsnip, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups strained broth from Step 1 above
2 vegetable stock cubes
4 cups hot water
¾ cup carrots, diced
½ cup turnip, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
¾ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp marjoram
½ tsp summer savory
¼ tsp cloves
Pepper, to taste
4 oz (apx. ¾ cup) orange lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup potato, diced
19 oz can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup frozen corn
½ cup frozen peas
1½ – 2 cups cooked leftover ham, diced
Fresh parsley for garnish

Method:

Step 1: Place leftover ham bone in large stock pot. Add 7 cups liquid (either ham stock left over from boiling the picnic ham or, alternatively, use chicken or vegetable stock).  Add star anise, whole cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, peppercorns, garlic clove, allspice, and bay leaves. Cover and boil gently over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through fine mesh strainer.  Discard bone and spices. Set broth aside. This should yield approximately 4 cups broth.

Step 2: Heat oil over medium heat in the large stock pot.  Add the onions, celery, and parsnip.  Sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute, stirring briskly.

Return strained broth from Step 1 to stock pot.  Dissolve 2 vegetable stock cubes in 4 cups hot water. Add to the strained broth. Bring to a boil.  Add carrots, turnip, and spices. Cover and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Add the lentils.  Cook for 10 minutes then add the potato and drained kidney beans.  Cook for about 10 minutes then add the corn, peas, and cooked ham. Cook for about 10-15 minutes longer, or until vegetables are fork tender.

Yield:  Apx. 12 – 1-cup servings

Ham Lentil Soup

Yield: Apx. 12 - 1-cup servings

This flavorful ham lentil soup makes good use of leftover ham bone, broth, and ham along with a mixture of vegetables, spices, and lentils.

Ingredients

  • Step 1:
  • 1 leftover meaty ham bone
  • 7 cups liquid (ham stock, chicken or vegetable broth)
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 10 whole cloves
  • ½ cinnamon stick (about 3”)
  • 3 cardamon pods
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 1 large unpeeled garlic clove
  • 2 whole allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Step 2:
  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup celery, chopped (apx. 1 large stalk)
  • 1/3 cup parsnip, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups strained broth from Step 1 above
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 4 cups hot water
  • ¾ cup carrots, diced
  • ½ cup turnip, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ¾ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • ½ tsp summer savory
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz (apx. ¾ cup) orange lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup potato, diced
  • 19 oz can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1½ - 2 cups cooked leftover ham, diced
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Step 1: Place leftover ham bone in large stock pot. Add 7 cups liquid (either ham stock left over from boiling the picnic ham or, alternatively, use chicken or vegetable stock). Add star anise, whole cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, peppercorns, garlic clove, allspice, and bay leaves. Cover and boil gently over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through fine mesh strainer. Discard bone and spices. Set broth aside. This should yield approximately 4 cups broth.
  2. Step 2: Heat oil over medium heat in the large stock pot. Add the onions, celery, and parsnip. Sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute, stirring briskly.
  3. Return strained broth from Step 1 to stock pot. Dissolve 2 vegetable stock cubes in 4 cups hot water. Add to the strained broth. Bring to a boil. Add carrots, turnip, and spices. Cover and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Add the lentils. Cook for 10 minutes then add the potato and drained kidney beans. Cook for about 10 minutes then add the corn, peas, and cooked ham. Cook for about 10-15 minutes longer, or until vegetables are fork tender.

Notes

Please read entire blog post for additional information on making this soup.

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Ham and Lentil Soup
Ham and Lentil Soup

 

Ham and Lentil Soup
Ham and Lentil Soup

Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole

 

Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole
Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole

Last week I cooked a boiled ham dinner and, despite that I had my local butcher cut me a small smoked picnic ham, it still had a lot of meat on it. You can get my method for making a boiled ham dinner here. After sandwiches and leftovers for a few nights, I decided it was time to find another use for the rest of the ham. I am not one to throw out food so I always find ways to use up leftovers.

Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole
Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole

So, I made what I call a Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole aptly named because, in addition to the ham, it has pineapple, rice, and bright green broccoli florets.  This casserole is not difficult to make but it does take a bit of time, planning, and coordination since the rice and broccoli have to be pre-cooked and the pineapple fried (yes, fried).

I use about 7.5 ounces of diced cooked ham for this recipe.  Use fresh broccoli if at all possible and only barely cook it.  Broccoli cooks super fast and, if it is overcooked, it may go to “mush” when it is baked in the casserole.  For this recipe, it needs no more cooking than a minute or two.

Fresh pineapple can be used but I use canned pineapple chunks because I use 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice in the sauce to give it a bit of sweet flavour.

Any kind of cream-based soup can be used in this casserole – cream of celery, broccoli, broccoli and cheese, or mushroom. I often use cream of celery soup as it is a mild soup that doesn’t compete with other flavours in the casserole but the other soups work well, too.

Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole
Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole
Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole

Ingredients:

½ cup cooked rice
1 – 10 oz can cream of celery soup (or cream soup of choice)
2 tbsp sour cream
1/3 cup milk
½ tbsp liquid chicken bouillon
½ tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
5 oz fresh broccoli florets
7½ oz cooked ham, diced (apx. 1½ cups)
1 cup pineapple chunks, drained (retain ¼ cup of the juice)

½ cup fine bread crumbs
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese

Method:

Cook rice according to package instructions

In large measuring cup, mix the soup, sour cream, milk, pineapple juice, and liquid chicken bouillon together. Set aside.

Melt butter in small frypan over medium high heat. Stir in brown sugar until it melts. Add pineapple chunks and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cook broccoli in boiling salted water over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook.

To assemble casserole:

Grease a 1.5 litre casserole dish or, alternatively, spray with cooking oil. Spread cooked broccoli on bottom of casserole dish.

Sprinkle cooked rice on top of broccoli.

DSCN2108

Add a layer of pineapple chunks.

Lastly, add the layer of ham.

Pour soup mixture over casserole contents.

In small dish, mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese together and sprinkle over casserole.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top of casserole is lightly tanned and soup starts to bubble around the edges. Remove from oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes to allow casserole to set before serving.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole
Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole

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Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole

Yield: Apx. 4-6 servings

A casserole filled with a wonderful blend of flavors - ham, rice, broccoli, and pineapple all smothered in a rich creamy sauce.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup cooked rice
  • 1 – 10oz can cream of celery soup (or cream soup of choice)
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ½ tbsp liquid chicken bouillon
  • ½ tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 5 oz. fresh broccoli florets
  • 7½ oz cooked ham, diced (apx. 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, drained (retain ¼ cup of the juice)
  • ½ cup fine bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook rice according to package instructions
  2. In large measuring cup, mix the soup, sour cream, milk, pineapple juice, and liquid chicken bouillon together. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter in small frypan over medium high heat. Stir in brown sugar until it melts. Add pineapple chunks and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Cook broccoli in boiling salted water over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook.
  5. To assemble casserole:
  6. Grease a 1.5 litre casserole dish or, alternatively, spray with cooking oil. Spread cooked broccoli on bottom of casserole dish. Sprinkle cooked rice on top of broccoli. Add a layer of pineapple chunks. Lastly, add the layer of ham.
  7. Pour soup mixture over casserole contents.
  8. In small dish, mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese together and sprinkle over casserole.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top of casserole is lightly tanned and soup starts to bubble around the edges. Remove from oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes to allow casserole to set before serving.
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Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole
Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole