Curried Lentil Soup with Ham
Contributed by Susan
Source: Cooking with the 60 Minute Gourmet (a wonderful cookbook!)

The curried lentil soup here has a mild smoky flavor from the ham. It
calls for little green French lentils, but you may substitute other
lentils. This is the kind of soup that improves with age. Yield: 4

1/2 pound lean country smoked ham (we added 3 ham hocks)
3 medium-size carrots
1/2 pounds green lentils (we did use the green lentils)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons curry powder (we used hot curry powder)
5 cups fresh or canned chicken broth (we used canned)
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried (we used fresh bay and thyme)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander

1. Remove most of the fat from the ham and cut it into cubes.

2. Trim and scrape the carrots and cut them into roughly 1/4-inch cubes.

3. Pick over the lentils for stones, wash them and drain into a

4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a pot or saucepan. Add the ham,
carrots, onions, garlic, and curry powder. Cook briefly over medium
heat, stirring, until the onions are wilted.

5. Add the lentils, 4 cups of the chicken broth, water, bay leaf, thyme,
and salt. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 25 to 30 miutes, stirring

6. Remove 1 cup of the soup, with more lentils than liquid, and set
aside. Discard the bay leaf and thyme springs.

7. With a potato masher or wire whisk, stir the soup briskly to mash the
lentils. Return the soup to a boil. Add the remaining cup of chicken
broth, the reserved lentils, the vinegar, and the remaining butter.
Check for seasoning and serve, sprinkled with the coriander.

Notes from Susan:
We added 3 ham hocks, because the ham we bought from our butcher, which
was country smoked, was really quite bland. We skipped the fresh
coriander garnish - we had fresh cilantro (same thing, I think), but it
didn't sound good to us. It was more than 4 servings. We had four bowls
last night, and we have leftovers.
September 98 Recipes