With the unbelievable amount of snow dumped on New Jersey these past few days, many of us, including my family, have been living off what was in the cupboard. We were actually very fortunate to have this storm come on the heels of Christmas. This meant for our house a happy fridge full of leftovers including a ton of ham. Since there are only so many ham and cheese omelets and sandwiches one can eat, I went in search of another idea. My inspiration came from a forgotten bag of dried lentils tucked behind the more glamorous ingredients in my pantry.
The following recipe was adapted from one I found on Food.com. Since we were out of onions, I substituted a can of Ro*Tel which gives this soup a nice, spicy kick. I also did not have Ham soup base or Ham bouillon, so chicken stock was substituted. The result was delicious, a little bit more like a chili than a soup and, bonus, it makes 12 servings. Now that’s a budget conscious, crowd feeder.
1 lb dry lentils, rinsed
6 -8 ounces smoked ham, diced
10 cups chicken stock
1 can Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
3/4 cup celery, diced
3/4 cup carrot, diced
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon oregano flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
liquid smoke, a few drops (optional)
- Saute carrot and celery in 1 Tbs. olive oil until tender.
- Add Ro*Tel and simmer 2 minutes.
- Add lentils, chicken stock and spices and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat; simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients; simmer about 20 minutes more.
- Serve with crusty bread, a dollop of sour cream or shredded cheddar
What is your favorite leftover creation? We’d love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment and share your tips on reinventing the boring leftover.
Deborah Smith is the Founder and Executive Editor of JerseyBites.com. Launched in 2007 as a home for her growing collection of recipes, Jersey Bites soon grew into a hub for all things edible in the Garden State. Deborah is also the owner of Parents With Nannies, Inc. which operates a network of nanny employment websites established in 1999. In her spare time, (Ha) she works as a Social Media consultant and speaker. You can learn more about her services and marketing through social media on her blog www.DeborahLSmith.com