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Lentil soup with ham is a hearty and filling meal in less than 1 hour. This soup has pleasant sweet undertones from the sautéed veggies! (No sugar added!) Leftover holiday ham works wonderfully in this soup, but don’t worry, other ham works too! Serve this lentil ham soup with some crusty bread to soak up every last drop! Also, this soup tastes even better the next day!
- Lentils – You can use green or brown dried lentils. No need to soak them!
- Ham – Use your leftover holiday ham or any other ham. If you have a ham bone, it’s perfect to use it in this soup with the chicken stock for a deeper and more pronounced flavor.
- Chicken stock – A high-quality chicken stock is essential for any soup recipe. My homemade Instant Pot chicken stock is easy to prepare and perfect for this recipe.
- Herbs – Bay leaves, fresh parsley, paprika (smoked or sweet), and dried oregano each play a role in making this a flavorful soup!
- Optional garnishes – We love serving this soup with a squeeze of lemon juice to amp up the flavor. If you like to spice things up, add in some chili flakes.
How to make this soup:
- Cook the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes. Then add dried oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add lentils, ham and mix well. Nestle bay leaves and ham bone, if using, on top of the mix. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil and then simmer.
- Check lentils are soft and then discard bay leaves and ham bone, if used.
- Add spinach and simmer. Stir in parsley and serve with crusty bread and a dash of lemon juice to amp up the flavor.
Can you add leftover ham to soup?
Yes, you can definitely use leftover holiday ham in this soup. Dice it or cube it and follow the recipe directions.
TIP: Ham bone makes this soup even more rich and flavorful! But it’s totally optional! Take a look at how to select the right type of ham for the holidays.
Can you put lentils straight into soup?
Yes, you can. Dried lentils unlike beans don’t need to be soaked. Green and brown lentils hold their shape in this soup for great added texture.
Is lentil soup good for weight loss?
Lentils may promote weight loss due to them making you feel fuller for longer periods of time, as well as the protein and fiber content. (Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
Can I freeze lentil ham soup and how do I reheat it?
Store leftover lentil soup in the fridge for up to 2 days or freeze it for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
This lentil soup with ham tastes even better the next day, but it tends to thicken up in the fridge. Simply add half a cup of water or chicken stock before reheating it in a microwave or stovetop to thin it out.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Let me know once you’ve tried it by leaving a comment below or sharing a photo and tagging @busy_cooks on Instagram!
Lentil soup with ham
- 1 cup dry lentils, green or brown
- 1 cup diced or cubed ham, or leftover ham from holidays
- 1 ham bone, optional
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup sliced carrots, about 2 medium sized
- ½ cup chopped celery, 2-3 ribs
- ½ cup diced onion, 1 medium
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 2 fat cloves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika, smoked or sweet
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 – 3 dry bay leaves
- 5 oz fresh baby spinach
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly soft.
- Add dried oregano, paprika, salt and pepper and sauté that for a minute for the spices to warm up. Then, add lentils and ham. Mix well with the vegetables and spices.
- Nestle bay leaves and ham bone, if using, on top of the lentil and vegetable mix.
- Add chicken stock and bring the soup to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat and let the soup simmer till lentils are cooked through. It’ll take 20-30 minutes.
- Once the lentils are soft, fish out and discard the bay leaves and ham bone, if used.
- Add spinach and let it simmer for a couple of minutes or till the spinach wilts. (You don’t want to overcook the spinach.) And then stir in parsley and serve hot, either on its own or with some crusty bread. A squeeze of lemon will amp up the flavor.