Hearty, healthy, and packed with flavor Leftover Ham Soup with Lentils is comfort food that you can feel good about! Raid your pantry and get cooking!
Lentil soup on its own can seem bland and boring. But, add in some delicious veggies and leftover ham chunks, and you’ve got yourself an irresistible soup that every member of your family will love!
Whenever we cook up a ham for dinner, we use this amazing Riesling Peach Glazed Ham recipe. There are always leftovers though. That’s not a problem in the slightest because my whole family adores Leftover Ham and Lentil Soup. A big batch of it will feed my hungry family for days!
LEFTOVER HAM AND LENTIL SOUP
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Easter Ham – it’s a TRADITION in my house that stems from my great-grandma. She always made a giant ham to share with her family on Easter Sunday. That tradition got passed down to my grandma, who passed it down to my mom, who then passed it down to me. I hope that my two boys treasure this meal as much as I do and will one day cook an Easter Ham for their own families!
When I say my great-grandma made a giant ham, I mean she made a GIANT ham. It was always big enough to serve a small army.
No one in the family went home empty-handed. Leftover takeaway boxes of ham for everyone! And believe me, no one was complaining.
For whatever reason, I’ve kept that part of the tradition alive as well. When shopping for my Easter ham, I look for the biggest, meatiest ham the butcher has to offer. Which means I’m always looking for ways to utilize leftover ham. My family’s all-time favorite way to eat leftover ham is this delicious lentil soup with ham recipe.
I love that this lentil soup utilizes the whole ham bone to create a stock. It’s the perfect meal for a chilly early spring evening, it really is the best lentil soup recipe! It’s packed with hearty lentils, tomatoes, beans, and all that yummy leftover ham.
What is a lentil?
Lentils are an often over-looked superfood! They’re packed with protein, fiber, and iron. Small and lens-shaped, lentils are similar to beans.
Lentils are a great base for many dishes because they hold up their shape pretty well after being cooked – nobody wants a soup made of mush.
Whether you’re cooking lentils for a homemade veggie burger or for a delicious lentil soup with ham, you’ll be sure to be pleased with these hearty little legumes!
Ingredients for Lentil Soup
- Ham bone from Riesling-Peach Glazed Ham
- Ham cut into chunks
- Green onions
- White beans
- Diced tomatoes
- Garlic salt
- Onion salt
- Ground cumin
- Bay leaves
- Red pepper flakes
- Salt & pepper
While there are many different varieties of lentils. The kind that I use most often in this ham soup recipe is brown lentils. They have a light, simple flavor which really allows for the other ingredients to shine.
That being said, you can use whatever lentils you have one hand. I’ve used red lentils for this hearty soup before too and they were delicious.
How to Make Lentil Soup
Like any good soup, you’ll want to have some time on your hands to let your ingredients simmer. You’ll need around 3 hours total cooking time for this lentil soup recipe, but much of that is hands-off time! Pop some ingredients in the pot, throw on your favorite Netflix show, and let them work their magic. Believe me, it really is the best lentil soup recipe you’ll ever make!
- You’re going to start your soup by making ham stock for the soup base. Place your ham bone in a large pot with garlic salt, onion salt, cumin, bay leaves, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Add just enough water to cover the ham bone. Then cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer over medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Next, remove the ham bone from the water and cut off any ham still on the bone ham into bite-sized pieces.
- Remove the bay leaves and get rid of them. Bay leaves offer amazing flavor, but boy… those things are NOT great when you accidentally take a bite of them 🙂
- Now, throw those ham pieces from the bone back in the stock.
- Add the extra cut up ham, carrots, celery, green onion, diced tomatoes, lentils, and white beans into the soup.
- Let it all simmer and do its thing for about 30 minutes more (or until the lentils are tender).
- Serve in your favorite soup bowl and enjoy!
What to do with leftover ham?
Just like I think no Easter dinner is complete without a ham, no weeks following Easter are complete without some homemade leftover ham recipes! Obviously my family’s favorite way to use leftover ham is in a hearty leftover ham bone soup, but the possibilities don’t stop there. Here are some of our other favorite ways to use it:
- Breakfast Ham Casserole – the perfect dish for the morning after Easter!
- Easy Ham Tetrazzini – get another great family dinner out of your leftover ham!
- Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Casserole – we love this as a breakfast OR as a dinner!
Need some more soup inspiration? Here are some Real Housemoms tried and true favorites!
- Black Bean Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Meatball Soup
- Crock Pot Chicken Tortellini Soup
- Crock Pot Cheesy Cauliflower Soup
- more DINNER recipes…
Tools used to make this Leftover Ham and Lentil Soup recipe
Stock Pot: I love making soup, so my stockpot gets TONS of use!
Soup bowls: How gorgeous are these? I use them for cereal, soup, and so many other yummy meals!
*This post originally posted on 04/01/2013.
- 1 ham bone from Riesling-Peach Glazed Ham
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon onion salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or 1 tsp if you like it spicy)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups cooked ham cut into chunks (including meat on bone)
- 1 cup carrots sliced
- 1 cup celery sliced
- 1/2 cup green onions sliced
- 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes drained
- 16 ounces dry lentils
- 15 ounces canned white beans drained
- Put ham bone in a large pot with the garlic salt, onion salt, cumin, bay leaves, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Add enough water to cover the ham bone. Cover the pot and let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer over medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Remove the ham bone from the water and cut off any ham still on the bone.
- Remove bay leaves. Add ham pieces from the bone back in the water.
- Add extra cut up ham, carrots, celery, green onion, diced tomatoes, lentils, and white beans
- Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Serve warm.