Black Lentil and Ham Soup is a hearty and colorful bean soup recipe using gorgeous Beluga black lentils. This comforting soup is a great way to use leftover ham.
I had every intention of making good old bean soup with my leftover ham, but when I saw these gorgeous black Beluga Lentils I switched my plans on the spot. I knew they would cook faster, look prettier, and make a lighter soup.
What are Beluga Lentils?
- Beluga lentils are small black lentils named after Beluga caviar because the shiny black beans look similar to the glossy beads of caviar.
- These lentils stay firmer when cooked than regular lentils, which I love.
I love beans and legumes, but I don’t like heavy bean soups that have lost all their color and texture. With lentils the soup cooks quickly (this one is ready in under an hour!) and the other ingredients don’t melt into oblivion. These black lentils are some of my favorites because they retain their texture and the color is so dramatic.
Speaking of color, these bright peppers add it in spades. I love to combine all the different shades of bell peppers, not only because the colors are pretty, but because each one brings a slightly different flavor profile to the soup.
The only problem is, I STILL have lots of leftover ham!
Other ways to use healthy and delicious legumes~
Reader Rave ~
“I bought a couple of bags of beautiful Beluga black lentils and found your tasty recipe while looking for a way to use them. I had a bone-in ham end, and after cutting off the meat for the soup, I made broth from the bone and used that instead of chicken stock. What a flavorful, hearty, and colorful soup! We loved it and enjoyed it for a couple of meals as well as a few lunches at work. I will be making this again using either chicken or ham stock..” ~ Julie
Black Lentil and Ham Soup
- olive oil
- 1 medium Spanish onion diced
- 1 large shallot diced
- 2 to 3 carrots diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper diced
- 1/2 russet potato peeled and finely diced (it will break down and thicken the soup)
- 1 jalapeno seeded and minced
- leftover ham diced or shredded
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
- 3/4 cup black lentils
- 32 oz chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- fresh thyme
- 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- salt and fresh pepper
- fresh parsley
- Coat the bottom of a heavy soup pot with oil. Saute the onion, carrot, potato and peppers for 5 minutes.
- Add in the ham and garlic, stir for a minute. Add in the wine and cook for another minute.
- Add in the tomatoes, lentils, stock, bay leaf and thyme and bring to a simmer.
- Cook for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Add in the sherry vinegar, season with salt and pepper and keep warm till you eat, or cool and regrigerate. Once again, this soup benefits from hanging out a bit so the flavors can develop.
- Add the parsley just before serving. Top with sour cream, creme fraiche or yogurt if you want.