Red Lentil & Ham Soup
SERVES 8 SUPER EASY
1 ham shank about 900 g. ( about 2 lbs. ) or 500 g. piece of ham or bacon, or a ham bone
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 medium carrot, grated
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1 cm. dice
200 g. red lentils, washed and drained
chopped fresh parsley to garnish
optional : serve with floury potatoes
Place the ham shanks in a large pot with about 3 ½ litres of cold water. Bring to the boil, skim off any scum which rises to the surface. Simmer for 2 ½ – 3 hours or until the meat is very tender ( this will not take as long if you are using a piece of ham or bacon )
Forty five minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the vegetables and the lentils. Skim the soup as it comes back to the boil. The soup is ready when the lentils are cooked, but it will taste much better if it is left to stand for 4 – 5 hours, or over night. Season to taste.
To serve, remove the ham and either save it for another use, or chop or flake the meat into small pieces and return to the soup. Ladle into warmed soup bowls and sprinkle with parsley. Serve the potatoes on the side.