Tucking into a bowl of this soup on a cold winter’s night is deeply satisfying. The combination of herbs and spices adds a heady aroma that fortifies the soup with richness.  I developed this recipe because I had leftover ham on hand from a delicious bone-in roasted ham.  If you don’t have leftovers, simply buy some thick cut (1 in.) black forest deli ham and use that. 

Note: This is one of those recipes that is actually thicker and heartier than a soup, but it’s not quite a stew. Feel free to thin it out with more beef stock or even some water.

Serves 6

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cooking onion, peeled and diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery ribs, diced

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2″ piece of ginger, peeled and minced

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp cumin

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 cup diced ham (175 grams)

1 can lentils (540ml) drained and rinsed

4 cups beef stock 

1 1/2  cups frozen kale

  • Heat oil in a soup pot placed over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, thyme and bay and cook for 10 min, stirring occasionally.

  • Add the garlic, ginger, tomato paste, cumin, pepper and cloves. Stir and cook for another 2 min.

  • Add the ham, lentils and beef stock and bring to a simmer.  Cook covered for 15 min, stirring occasionally.

  • Add in the frozen kale and cook for another 5 min.

  • Serve with a biscuit or a piece of crusty bread.

Download a printable version of this recipe here.