|110g / 4oz of chunky cooked ham (see Cook's Notes above for alternatives)|
|170g / 6oz red lentils (see Cook's Notes above for alternatives)|
|2 medium sized onions|
|3 stalks of celery|
|Small tin of tomatoes (225g / 8oz)|
|1½ litres / 2.7 pints of chicken or vegetable stock (homemade or water with 3 stock cubes)|
|2 garlic cloves|
|2 tablespoons of chopped parsley plus a few sprigs to garnish|
|3 tablespoons of olive oil|
|Salt and pepper to taste|
Chop the ham into small bite sized chunks
Wash the celery stalks, then finely chop
Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic.
Top and tail the carrots then slice.
Any ham can be used for this recipe but the best is a chunky piece of ham. We bought off-cuts from our local Tesco and they cost far less than other cuts of ham. Bacon can also be used - about six rashers will do fine but fry them first.
For this recipe we use red lentils but almost any lentils can be used instead, green or puy lentils are popular alternatives. Just check the packet instructions to make sure they don't need overnight soaking, most are fine to eat after about 45 minutes of cooking.
Place the onions, carrots and celery in a large frying pan and pour in the oil. Fry on a medium heat for 12 minutes stirring and turning the ingredients often.
Taste the cooked soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Now add the cooked ham, stir well and simmer for 5 minutes.