Ham Stock from Leftover Holiday Ham Bone
Ham Stock Ingredients
1 or 2 leftover ham bones
1 large carrot, washed peeled, and cut into 2" lengths
1 medium onion, quartered
1 celery stalk, washed and cut into 2" lengths
enough water to cover ingredients in pot by about 2"
Ham Stock Directions
Place all ingredients in soup or stock pot and fill with enough water to cover everything by about 2". Place over medium heat. When water starts to boil, reduce heat to low. Cook at the softest, lowest simmer your stove will go for about two hours.
As the stock simmers, skim off foam and if liquid level gets too low, add a little more water.
Allow stock to cool slightly, then pull bones and large vegetable pieces out of stock with tongs. one of my favorite things to do is pull off every last shred of ham from the bone and eat it, along with the super soft vegetables, which are nearly flavorless because all the flavor has been leached into the stock. I don't care. I love it.
Pour the stock through a sieve into a storage container to strain out the rest of the solids. You can use the stock as is, or cool, chill overnight in fridge, and remove hardened fat the next day. Don't freak out — there will probably be a thin layer of fat and the stock underneath will be gelatinous.
Lentil Soup Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2-3 cloves finely minced garlic
2 cups dried lentils, rinsed **
pinch of dried oregano
2 quarts ham stock (or any other stock for that matter)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
** note ** When I rinse dried lentils, I place them in a large bowl or pot, cover with water, swirl several times with clean hands, then drain off water, repeating a few times. (If you're Asian it's the same method as washing white rice.) I don't really trust putting lentils into a colander and rinsing them under running water as this doesn't let any "lighter" things float away from the lentil.
Lentil Soup Directions
Heat olive oil or medium heat in a large soup or stock pot. Add chopped onions, carrots, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent and carrots have begun to soften.
Add the lentils, dried oregano, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the lentils are tender, checking by tasting at about 30 minutes. If the liquid level gets too low as it simmers, add water or additional stock.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.