When I first married my mother-in-law taught me how to make this wonderful Lentil soup the taste was exceptional. Whenever I have left over chicken broth I make it. It has lots of vegetables, ham and chicken and of course lentils. So good and comforting. Serve with crusty bread and some red wine. I am in heaven. Enjoy
1If you have left over chicken broth as I did then put into a large pot and reserve until needed. I removed chicken parts and took chicken meat off the bones and put diced chicken meat into a seperate dish. In another pot or pressure cooker put in ham bone, neck bones and ham shanks. Cover with cold water and cover. When pressure cooker starts to push the little weight on top start timing cook for 30 minutes under a medium low flame. Presure cooker should move top weight every few minutes. If you dont have a pressure cooker cook the meat for about 2 hours until meat is tender and falling off the bone. If using the pressure cooker after thirty minutes turn off and wait until cooker looses pressure. I kind of remove the top a little until all the pressure is gone. Open cooker when pressure is gone and remove meat with a sloted spoon to a sperate dish let cool before handling. When cool enough to handle remove meat from the bones. Discard bones cut meat into bite sized pieces. If you cooked the meat the traditional way do the same when the meat is done.
2Now take the a big pot and combine the chicken broth and ham broths in one pot. Add all of the diced veggies. Carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, diced can tomatoes, or whole fresh tomatos diced, potatoes, add rinsed lentils, packet of sazon Goya, and black pepper and package of hormel small cubed ham pieces. Cook all the vegetables, lentils and ham for one hour, after one hour add the diced chicken meat and diced ham and neck bone meat that was removed from the bones. Cook for a half hour more. Taste to see if your soup has enough salt. You may have to add just a little more salt because the ham and smoked meats already have salt in them. Taste the lentils to see if they are soft. Serve in deep bowls along with crusty bread. This soup is hearty and delicious. Enjoy
3When starting to make this dish if you don't have homemade chicken broth, you can use canned chicken broth. I sometimes use College Inn or Swanson. Chicken meat would be optional.