This soup has really good flavor, and it's a great way to incorporate more lentils into your diet. It's also a snap to put together- you only have to do a bit of chopping, and set everything to cook low and slow in the crockpot. When I make this, I fnd that after for a while (like 8 hours), I need to add more water. Feel free to do that, if the water level is getting lower in your crockpot. Also, sometimes this turns out too salty for me- due to the chicken broth, but mostly, the ham. I use reduced-sodium broth and cut down the amount of ham (only use one cup), but if you are afraid of the saltiness, I suggest using half chicken broth/half water for the 32oz. chicken broth the recipe calls for. I also buy my ham pre-cut into a small dice, unless I have leftover ham to use. I cook this overnight (on Low) on a weekend for a late lunch the next day. I used my larger crockpot for this, and it turned out to be too large- I will use my smaller one next time.
My mom made a recipe that tasted just like this when I was growing up. She made some yummy cinnamon-sugar muffins to go along with it, so I will have to make them sometime and share the recipe.
I am tagging this recipe under "beans", although it's a legume. Lentils are SO good for you! I need to make more recipes with them.
Slow Cooker Lentil and Ham Soup
1 cup dried lentils
1 cup chopped celery1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
32 ounces reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
8 ounces tomato sauce (may want to use no-salt-added T.S.)
1. In a slow cooker combine the lentils, celery, carrots, onion, garlic and ham. Season with basil, thyme, oregano, the bay leaf and pepper. Stir in the chicken broth, water and tomato sauce. Cover and cook on Low for about 11 hours. Discard the bay leaf before serving.
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