Lentil Soup

This is a smooth hearty soup with small pieces of ham. If a ham bone is not available, bacon makes a fine substitution.
Based on a recipe from The New York Times Cookbook, Craig Claiborne, 1961, Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., New York, NY, p 63.
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 40 minutes
Course: Soups
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup carrots approximately 2 medium, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup onions approximately 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery approximately 2 stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 1/2 quarts water preheat in microwave to save time
  • 2 cups dried lentils
  • 1 ham bone or substitute 6 thick slices bacon trimmed of fat and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole cloves
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped parsley for garnish


  • In 6-quart stock pot heat canola oil over medium heat. If substituting bacon for ham bone, add bacon with oil. Add vegetables and garlic; cook 10 minutes.
  • Add lentils and ham bone. Place bay leaf and cloves in a tea ball or tie in a piece of cheesecloth and add to pot. Add cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently about two hours.
  • Discard cheesecloth. Remove ham bone and any chunks of ham; dice ham and set aside. Puree soup using an immersion blender, blender, or food mill. Stir in reserved ham. Reheat soup and correct seasonings. Serve hot garnished with chopped parsley.


This soup can be easily doubled using one ham bone and a larger pot.
Copyright 2023, Catherine Christiano. Website by Catherine Christiano.