Have you ever finished off a spiral cut ham and wondered how to turn it into an amazing soup? That was me after the holidays. Use leftover ham and a pressure cooker to make ham stock and then a pressure cooker ham and lentil soup.
If there’s one great comfort food soup, it’s split pea and ham. In my case, I had a bunch of green lentils and an assortment of vegetables. The first thing you’ll obviously need is the leftovers of a cooked bone-in ham. You’ll be using this large bone-in chunk to make some amazing ham stock.
Make Ham Stock with a Pressure Cooker
I’m going to strongly recommend using of a pressure cooker , or Instant Pot, for this recipe as it will literally save you hours of cooking time between the stock and the soup. It’s also going to create an intensely flavored stock that’s difficult to reproduce by simmering alone. If you’ve read articles about the amazing flavors of Instant Pot Broth, this is the core technique.
Pressure Cooking Lentils
This is basically a variation on split pea and ham soup. Why? Because I had two huge containers of Lentils in my cupboard when I went to make this. Because they look so similar, it did get me wondering, “what is the difference between split peas and lentils?”. And yes, they are different. But they taste very similar.
For just about any legume or grain, my go to is to use the pressure cooker. Of course, if you have an Instant Pot, you’ll use the Pressure setting on it. They key to turning the lentils into a pressure cooker soup is to increase the water to lentil ratio. Instead of 2:1, you’ll use 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of lentils inside the pressure cooker.
Making the Ham and Lentil Soup
On a bitterly cold Chicago evening, this was a welcome soup. Warming, hearty and bursting with ham flavor. I’m looking forward to my next spiral cut ham, and my next big batch of pressure cooker ham and lentil soup.
Use a leftover bone-in ham to make an amazing ham stock and then a delicious lentil and vegetable soup. A Pressure Cooker, or Instant Pot, saves a significant amount of time
- 1 Leftover Bone-in ham
- 8 Cups Water
- 1 White Onion chopped
- 10 Cloves Garlic crushed
- 1 Tablespoon Whole Peppercorns
- 2 Cups Chopped Ham
- 8 Cups Cooking Liquid Ham Stock and Water
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Lentils
- 8 Cloves Garlic crushed
- 1 White Onion chopped
- 6 Carrots medium dice
- 2 Red Peppers medium dice
- 1 Cup Green Beans small pieces
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
Place the ham bone in your pressure cooker and pour in the 8 cups of water
Add the onion, garlic and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Seal and cook for 20 minutes when pressure has been reached
Strain the liquid into a bowl and reserve. You'll probably have about 7 cups. Add water so that you have 8 cups total.
Clear out your pressure cooker, bring it back up to medium heat and add the olive oil
Cook the onions for about 10 minutes until translucent
Add the ham, garlic, carrots, red peppers and green beans. Mix in well to cover all with the oil.
Add the lentils, pour in the stock and pressure cook for another 20 minutes