This is a soup I learned to make from my Mom and I've been making this yummy stick-to-the ribs- soup almost as long as I've been married. I just never thought to measure things and put it in recipe form before. Well, today I did it. Just perfect for a cold winter night.
Rinse lentils and check for foreign bodies. Put lentils, ham bone, onion, carrots, celery and bay leaves in water. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. I keep a lid on the pot at an angle while it is simmering. I let this simmer for hours but I'm sure 3-4 hours would be plenty. Make sure the lentils are tender and the meat is falling off the bone.
Remove bones, meat and bay leaves. Set the bones and meat to the side and discard bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, puree the lentils and vegetables until smooth. (You could also use your blender, pureeing small batches at a time.) Remove all ham from the bones, cut into small pieces and return meat to the soup. Peel and dice potatoes and add them. Last, add the sliced hot dogs or sausage.
Simmer an additional 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Salt and pepper to taste. (I don't add salt earlier because often the ham is salty.)
I like to add a splash of white vinegar to my bowl of soup.