Gruff's Healthy Ham and Lentil Bean Soup


Nothing helps usher in Autumn's arrival like a hearty ham and lentil bean soup. Full-bodied flavor and delightful textures make this recipe a family favorite.

After Jeff was recently diagnosed with liver cirrhosis, I figured it would be an end to favorite dishes. Then practicality set in. We can still do some of the recipes, stripping away the stuff with chemicals in favor of scratch cooking.

The first tinkering was my old Ham and Lentil Bean Soup. Holy cow! My prior recipe is a cabaret girl. The new version is a nun. It still has a rich taste but I miss chomping on the ham bone.

PLEASE NOTE: This is sort of a draft. The immersion blender died, plus I forgot to photograph my bowl before tucking in. The ingredients below are measure out for a single serving.

Gruff's Experiment Tips
I used Simple Truth "uncured" bacon. It's not actually uncured bacon. It is simply cured via a more-veg product. Long story; don't ask. I didn't due full research before I started. Uncured bacon is just as bad for cirrhosis despite using celery to cure the damn thing.

So, next time I will try raw pork alone.

These beautiful legumes come in a variety of colors.  I prefer a visually vibrant soup, and so I go with dried pale greens and yellows.  Just remember to prep your beans by rinsing them to remove any debris and get them moist. Salt will toughen these little guys.  If you prep them first and set them aside while you prep other foods, they won't be chewy.

Chicken broth:
I swear by the Kroger's Simple Truth Organic™ Low Sodium Free Range Chicken Broth.  The flavor doesn't overpower you.  No antibiotics, added hormones or artificial flavors and preservatives are in this soup. It's certified USDA Organic and is a non-GMO product. It's also not as expensive as other brands. If you do not have a Kroger/King Soopers near you, you can order it online here.

Gruff's Ham & Lentil Bean Soup Experiment

  • 8 ounces pork loin, small cubes
  • 2 cups of low/no sodium chicken broth + water to fill the pot, if necessary
  • 3/4 cups dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1 small carrot, minced
  • 1 celery ribs, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced  (or more/less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash of dried parsley
1. Add broth to the pot and bring to a simmer. Toss in the cubed blade steak. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Prep your veg and lentils while the meat cooks!

3. Add the vegetables, lentils, and seasonings to the bot. Bring the pot back to a boil, and then turn the temp down and allow the soup to simmer for an hour, or until the lentils are soft. 

Please feel free to toy with my recipe as you like. Leave a comment and me know how your take on it turns out!