Easy, Healthy(low sodium) and Cost Conscious Soup.
Mom was queen of soups, and I think I take after her on that one. Anytime we have a bunch of leftovers---first thing I think of is soup!
Hearty, Easy Lentil Soup. serves 8-10
Use a Leftover Hambone with a small bit of extra ham. I had about 1 1/4 cup of chopped pieces after cooking. I would also make this with a smoked Turkey Leg---which makes the best soups, and adds that wonderful smoky flavor.
12 cups of water
Two heaping tablespoons of Salt free Seasoning Mix. (with herbs,garlic, etc.)
2 cups of chopped celery fine( I make soup when there are lots of tops on the celery-so flavorful)
2 medium chopped onions
Put all this in a Slow Cooker on High until meat begins to leave the bone-remove bone and the meat chunk and dice into small pieces and return to cooker, except for the bones.
Add: (PS I always make soups with relish tray leftovers-Win-Win!)
1 large sweet pepper---any color your choice Diced
1 zucchini - or small yellow summer squash cut in quarters and sliced
1/2-1 cup of chopped carrots
(you can add any other veggie you want) frozen/fresh peas/broccoli/corn, potatoes
Add 2 cups of the small orange lentils (you could use any quicker cooking dry lentil or dry bean) If you use dried beans---soak them or pre-boil and soak over-nite.
Cook on high for at least 3 hours, then on low until the lentils begin breaking down.
Taste for seasoning, if it seems flat add up to 2 Tbsp. of Balsamic Vinegar or LEMON Juice and ground pepper. (this still keeps this lower in sodium.)
Serve with a hearty bread, and it's a great healthy meal.
This is a dairy-free cream soup by simply breaking this down with a hand blender. Mine today---is just as it finished on its own...thick and nummy!
I served mine with just a scatter of cheese, some chopped fresh parsley and a smidge of paprika. Croutons, sunflower seeds, cornbread crumbs, would all be great garnishes! Even fresh diced tomatoes!