Ham, lentils, spinach, and veggies in a chicken broth seasoned with garlic, onions, and red pepper flakes and served with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
-By Carrie (Strommen) Lennie
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 ½ cups diced onion
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 ½ cups diced celery
1 ½ cups diced carrot
9 cups chicken stock
2 cups dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 small bay leaves
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 ½ cups diced ham
2 cups canned, diced tomatoes in juice
1 7-oz bag fresh baby spinach, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil; add the onion and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the celery and carrots, and continue to sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the stock, lentils, bay leaves, and red pepper, and bring to a boil; decrease the heat and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until the lentils are cooked to tender.
- Stir in the ham and tomato, and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and adjust the seasonings; simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.
- Ladle 1 ½ cups of soup per serving into soup plates or bowls, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.