Ham Stock & Ham and Lentil Soup

Ham stock is simple to make and it’s incredibly useful for enriching sauces and soups. I will warn you – it doesn’t smell very nice when it’s cooking. But it’s worth it.

For bonus points, you will also have a bunch of cooked ham which you can pick apart and use for sandwiches or in soup (see below).

Makes about 2 pints

1 ham hock or other cheap joint, perferably with a bone in
2 carrots, snapped in half
1 onion, quartered
6 peppercorns
4 or 5 sage leaves

Don’t, whatever you do, add salt.

The Cooking

Some people prefer to soak the ham to reduce the saltiness. I like it salty. If you don’t then soak the ham overnight in a couple of changes of water.

Bung in all in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Skim off any scum and then leave to simmer for about 4 hours. Check occasionally, tasting and topping up the water if necessary. Strain into a large bowl and reserve the ham for later use. That’s it!

Ham stock is very gelatinous and after being left in the fridge overnight it will turn to meat jelly. Mmmmm… meat jelly. It will now be easy to skim the fat off the top of the stock. You can freeze it or it’ll keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Ham stock is particularly good in lentil soup.

Ham & Lentil Soup

Makes about 2 pints

1 pint ham stock
1 pint water
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Small knob of butter (heh, “knob”)
200g lentils (I like Puy lentils for their earthiness)
3 or 4 sage leaves
However much ham you want, leftover from making the stock
A dash of worcester sauce

The Cooking

Melt the butter in a large-ish pot and chuck in the onion and carrot. Saute until they’re softened and jusy catching on the bottom of the pot, then add the garlic and fry for another minute or so until you can really smell the garlic start to cook. Don’t burn it.

Now throw in the lentils, sage leaves, pint of stock and pint of water. Shake in a few dashes or worcester sauce. Bring up to the boil and let it simmer for about an hour. Taste regularly and add more water if needed.

After an hour, add in the ham and simmer for another ten minutes. Ta dah! A wholesome, filling soup made my your own fair hand.


13 Responses to “Ham Stock & Ham and Lentil Soup”

  1. kalyn Says:

    I use ham stock in bean soups and it really increases the flavor.

  2. Tanna Says:

    Can’t beat Lentil Soup, my very favorite. Ham is such a beautiful thing.

  3. Domenick Says:

    Thanks for the help cooking is becomonig a hobbie for me at 72 yearsyoung (smile)

  4. Corneli Says:

    I looked for an hour on Martha Stewart’s site and found every other stock except ham stock! I Googled how to make ham stock and found your wonderful receipe instantly! Thank you!

  5. trading Says:

    OHH Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource! PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉 See you! ^_^

  6. Bethany Says:

    Very cool 🙂 If you add turnip to it it really increases the taste ^_^

  7. Homage to Ham & Bean Soups « Celebrating Work | The Blog of gThankYou! Says:

    […] Ham & Lentil Soup from 101 Things Every Cook Should Cook […]

  8. Claire Says:

    Yummy recipe!!! I added a few slices of jamoniberico de bellota also known as iberico ham or patanegra thinly cut. This Spanish ham has a strong and delicious flavor, therefore you do not need much, only 50 grams or 1.8 OZ for four people which I sprinkle once the soup is already served.

    You can find jamonibericoat BuyJamon.com

    BuyJamon.com the market place for iberico ham.

  9. Hungry Wanderer Says:

    knob heh heh heh.

    Great receipe, on the hob now. First attempt.

  10. My winter of discontent. « A girl, a bear and their cat. Says:

    […] the last few days so I am gonna hit up the market tomorrow for veggies and make a huge batch of Ham and Lentil soup over the weekend for taking into work next […]

  11. Brian Says:

    Is 4 hours not an awful long time to boil the ham

  12. Mariah Starsinger Says:

    I find I’m able to harvest quite a nice amount of jelly just from baking a half a ham. Start with a fully cooked supermarket ham (shank end is what I like), score it, slow bake it covered with foil at 250 degrees for several hours till it reaches 140 degrees internal temperature. Let the juices in the pan cool and solidify, then collect the jelly and store for later use. Really enriches a lentil soup.

  13. Friendly Family Food Says:

    Defrosted gammon stock and knew I could do something with lentils, Google sent me your way. Brilliant! It’s in the slow cooker now but as a learner I’m not sure what will happen! Big thank you.

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