Lentils and Ham
Feel free to use corned beef or smoked turkey in place of the ham in this recipe, if your dietary practices are such. You can even leave meat out altogether, but I would suggest a little extra olive oil in its place.
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This works well in a crock pot, too. See how in the final step.
1 lbdry lentils
1/2 lbchopped ham (or other meat)
2 clovegarlic, chopped
1 mediumonion, chopped
2-3 stalk(s)celery, thinly sliced
1 largecarrot, chopped
2 Tbspolive oil
6 ozcan tomato paste
2-3 pinchsalt and pepper, to taste
1-2 dash(es)liquid smoke seasoning (optional)
How to Make Lentils and Ham
- Sort, wash, and cook lentils according to package directions. They do not require soaking. They are usually done in 40-45 minutes. Halfway through cooking, stir in the chopped ham (or other meat).
- While lentils are cooking, sauté garlic, onion, celery, and carrot in the olive oil, over medium-low heat, until soft. Set aside.
- When lentils are done, drain and reserve liquid.
Stir tomato paste into 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid until smooth. Add this mixture, along with the sautéed vegetables, to the lentils and ham, and combine well. This is just to moisten the lentils so they are not dry, but not to make soup. If more liquid is needed, add in a little at a time until a rich stew is achieved. Bring to a boil and heat through to serving temperature.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adding Liquid Smoke seasoning enhances the ham flavor. Liquid Smoke is a vegan product and can be used to flavor the vegetarian version of this recipe.
- To make in your Crock Pot:
~ Sort and wash lentils, and place them in a 3-4 quart slow cooker. Sauté the vegetables in the oil as in step 2, and add them to the slow cooker. Top with the ham.
~ Stir the tomato paste into 1/2 cup water, then add that to the slow cooker. Cover with fresh water to 3" above the level of the ingredients.
~ Cook on low power 3-4 hours (high, 2 hours). Check water level and add more if needed, as the lentils absorb the liquid.
~ When lentils are done, season with salt, pepper, and Liquid Smoke.