Lentils are a highly nutritious base for soup and when you add smoked ham, carrots, and parsley, you get a perfect, hearty meal to serve to the entire family!
2 tablespoon (25 ml) olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 lb (450 g) smoked ham hock or turkey thigh
1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed (250 ml)
2 litres (8 cups) cold water
Handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to season
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
In a large pot saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until soft, about four minutes.
Add the carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf and saute for two more minutes.
Add ham hock and lentils and cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer soup, partially covered, for 35 to 40 minutes or until lentils are soft and ham hock is heated through and tender. Stir occasionally.
Remove the ham hock and take the meat off the bone transfer meat back to soup and add parsley. Adjust seasoning. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems.
If desired, garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!