I don’t know about your house, but in ours Easter is all about ham! It’s one of my kids’ favorite proteins and it’s almost always naturally gluten-free.
Costco is where we buy most our meat, and I was so excited this year to see on the outside of the ham, big bold letters that read “Gluten-Free”. Done, I thought to myself and threw it in the cart. After a short time in the oven, our traditional holiday staple was ready to be enjoyed by many.
Afterwards I was left with the common post holiday question – what to do with all that leftover ham? There are so many great ways to utilize ham. And while my kids typically groan at leftovers, I’ve become pretty crafty in how to trick them into eating the same protein in countless dishes.
My most recent favorite is Gluten-Free Lentil & Ham Soup. We’ve served it in our Restaurant since I can remember and this week it’s a constant in our home as well. It’s packed with vegetables, fiber, and protein. But the flavor? It’s as good as ever!
If you’ve never cooked with lentils, I strongly encourage it! In the summer they are a great addition to any salad, and in the winter (or at least when it still feels like winter) they’re perfect in soups.
The ham gives the soup an extra saltiness. I prefer to add extra red pepper flakes to my bowl. Though Sarah hates spice, so I stick to what the recipe calls for when making the pot. I’m happy to report almost all our Easter ham is eaten and the Gluten-Free Lentil & Ham Soup was enjoyed by almost every member of my family 🙂
What’s your favorite use for leftover ham?
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups diced celery
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrot
- 9 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 2 small bay leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 cups diced gluten-free ham
- 2 cups canned, diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 (6 or 7 ounce) bag baby fresh spinach, chopped
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil; add the onion and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the celery and carrots, and continue to saute for 1 minute.
- Add the stock, lentils, bay leaves, and red pepper, and bring to a boil; decrease the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the lentils are cooked to tender.
- Stir in the ham and tomato, and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and adjust the seasonings; simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.
- Ladle 1 1/2 cups of soup per serving into soup plates or bowl, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
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