Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hearty Lentil Soup with Sweet Potato & Ham


A Two for Tuesday Recipe 
Ah lentils. They are delicious little nutritious morsels, that I believe are a legume that has gone overlooked. Lentils are hearty not mention that they have a lot of nutritional benefits. Want to know what they are? Here are a few fun facts about lentils: lowers cholesterol, full of fiber benefiting your heart, blood sugar and digestive health, good source of protein, increases energy and can help lower your weight by making you feel full. If those aren't some great benefits to get lentils in your life I don't know what is. To me, it's a power food. The recipe I've provided compliments the lentils with added vegetables to make this meal heartier. Obviously, to make lentils you will need some type of liquid... you can choose water or follow my tip; half ham stock and half chicken stock. Ham stock you ask? I use Goya Ham Flavored Concentrate; they are little packets of granulated ham that you add to water. Voila: ham stock! I like to use chicken stock as my other half of liquid to add even more flavor. I use this recipe with split peas as well (green or yellow). You can use pieces of cut sausage in this soup as well as regular potatoes instead of sweet potato. Edit as you wish but do try this recipe it is delicious!

1 16oz package lentils
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ham hock
1 ham steak, cubed or cubed ham
4 cups ham stock
4 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
splash of white wine (optional)
2 sweet potatoes, chopped

1. In a large pot, cook carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

2, Add the ham hock, cubed ham and lentils. Cook with vegetables for about 2 minutes to infuse flavor.

3. Add the stocks, bay leaf, cumin, salt, pepper, wine (optional) and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

4. If you'd like, you can use a hand immersion blender to smooth out the soup or leave it as is. I blend a small portion of the soup to get it both smooth and a bit chunky too.

5. Serve alone or with rice. Enjoy!

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