Hambone and Lentil Soup

Local NC Bay Leaves

While I was preparing to post this recipe, I had to check and see if “hambone” was actually one word or two… anybody??  It is really just one word.  Who knew?  My children were singing “Hambone, hambone, where ya been?” for the past few days and the song will not get out of my head.  (Click the link if you need a lyric refresher – it is a great song for kids!)

This soup is super easy to make and a great use of a leftover hambone after a big Sunday dinner or holiday meal – or if you just happen to see one in the meat section at your grocery or farmers’ market – grab it!  I made this soup with just a few ingredients – lentils, onion, carrots, garlic, chicken broth, 2 bay leaves, and ham.  Threw it all in a big pot and let it simmer on low for a few hours.  Easy peasy.


A little olive oil
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bag of baby carrots
1 1/2 cups brown lentils
2 handfuls of chopped ham (or more)
7 or 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 hambone


1. Lightly saute the onion, garlic, and baby carrots in a little bit of olive oil.
2. Add the lentils.  Stir to coat the lentils in the olive oil.
3. Add the ham.  Stir to combine.
4. Add the chicken broth and 2 bay leaves.
5. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 or 3 hours.

After the soup is done simmering, I use a fork to help remove some more meat off the hambone.  I remove the hambone carefully from the soup and take off the rest of the ham and toss it into the soup.  Because the ham is sitting in the soup for a while, I prefer to use the low sodium chicken broth or a combination of chicken broth and water or the soup might taste a little too salty.

I think lentil soup tastes even better the second day so be excited if you have leftovers!  We served this soup as our main course for dinner.  My husband tossed a few croutons into his soup and thought that was a nice crunchy addition.  Enjoy!  

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

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