Unlocking Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup With A Blend Of Exotic Ingredients

Creamy Ham and Lentil Soup is more than a meal; it’s an experience. With tender chunks of ham and wholesome lentils, this dish embodies comfort. Each spoonful reveals layers of flavor, thanks to a rich blend of herbs and spices. 

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Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup

The texture is velvety, and the taste is unforgettable. This soup is a symphony of taste that resonates in the mouth. It’s perfect for a chilly day or when you need something to warm your soul. 

Prepare your taste buds for a culinary delight, as Creamy Ham and Lentil Soup is ready to be your next favorite dish. Whether for a family dinner or a festive gathering, it’s a choice that satisfies every palate.

What Is Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup?

Creamy Ham and Lentil Soup is a comforting dish that combines succulent ham and nourishing lentils in a rich, velvety broth. Infused with herbs and spices, it offers a flavorful experience that warms both body and soul. 

Ideal for family dinners or gatherings, this soup serves as a satisfying entrée or an elegant appetizer. It’s not just food; it’s a taste of home in every spoonful.

History Of Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup

The history of Creamy Ham and Lentil Soup is rooted in rustic cooking traditions. Often considered a farmhouse specialty, it combines easily accessible ingredients like ham and lentils.

Over time, various cultures have added their unique twists, enhancing its flavor with local herbs and spices. 

This soup has evolved from a simple sustenance meal to an elegant comfort dish, appreciated in many culinary traditions for its rich taste and satisfying heartiness. It’s a timeless recipe that continues to nourish and delight.

Interesting Facts About The Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup 

  • Versatility: Creamy Ham and Lentil Soup can be adapted to suit various dietary preferences, like vegetarian or low-fat.
  • Nutrition-packed: Lentils provide essential proteins and fiber, making the soup nutritious and filling.
  • Global Appeal: This dish has variations across different cultures, each adding unique flavors.
  • Seasonal Flexibility: It can be enjoyed year-round, warm in winter, or chilled in summer.
  • Easy Preparation: With one pot and simple ingredients, it’s a beginner-friendly recipe.

What Makes The Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup Special? 

  • Rich Flavor Profile: The combination of ham, lentils, and herbs creates a complex, savory taste.
  • Creamy Texture: Its velvety consistency adds to the luxurious dining experience.
  • Nutritional Value: Packed with protein and fiber, it’s both delicious and nourishing.
  • Culinary Tradition: With roots in farmhouse cooking, it embodies rustic elegance.
  • Versatility in Serving: Perfect as a main course or appetizer, fitting various dining occasions.
Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup

Ingredient List 

Dried lentils2 cups
Onion, chopped1
Garlic, minced3 cloves
Chicken or vegetable broth4 cups
Diced ham2 cups
Half-and-half1 cup
Olive oil2 tbsp
SaltTo taste
PepperTo taste

Ingredient Tips 

  • Lentils: Choose quality dried lentils for the best texture; no need to soak them beforehand.
  • Broth: Opt for low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth to control salt content.
  • Ham: Select lean, smoked ham for added flavor depth.
  • Half-and-half: A dairy-free substitute like coconut milk can be used for lactose intolerance.
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil adds richness; a quality brand will enhance flavor.
  • Seasoning: Adjust salt and pepper to personal taste; fresh-ground pepper gives a robust flavor.

Can You Vary Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup With Other Ingredients?

  • Keto: Replace lentils with lower-carb vegetables like cauliflower, and use full-fat cream.
  • Paleo: Opt for almond milk instead of half-and-half, and use nitrate-free ham.
  • Gluten-Free: Ensure the broth and ham are gluten-free; most natural ingredients should comply.
  • Whole30: Omit the dairy using coconut milk, and choose Whole30-compliant ham.
  • Vegetarian: Replace ham with a meat substitute or additional vegetables, and use vegetable broth.
  • Vegan: Substitute ham with mushrooms for a meaty texture, and use vegan-friendly cream alternatives and vegetable broth.
Ingredients of soup

Recipe Directions 

  • Prepare Lentils: Rinsing and soaking them for an hour, then draining them. This step helps soften the lentils and reduces cooking time.
  • Sauté Aromatics: Heat a bit of olive oil in a pot and sauté finely chopped onions and minced garlic until they release their fragrant aroma. This forms the flavorful base of the soup.
  • Introduce Broth: Add your choice of broth to the pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a gentle simmer. The broth provides the liquid base and essential flavor for the soup.
  • Cook Lentils: Put the soaked and drained lentils into the simmering broth. Allow them to cook until they become tender. This step infuses the lentils with the flavors of the broth.
  • Add Ham: Incorporate diced ham into the simmering soup. Let the ham cook and merge its savory essence with the lentils.
  • Simmer Further: Allow the soup to simmer for an additional 10 minutes. This ensures that the ham imparts its taste to the soup and that all the flavors meld together.
  • Creamy Touch: Stir in half-and-half to create a creamy and indulgent texture. Gently warm the soup to the desired serving temperature.
  • Seasoning: Season the soup with appropriate seasonings to enhance the overall taste. This step brings out the flavors and balances the dish.
  • Serving: Serve the Creamy Ham and Lentil Soup while it’s hot. The harmonious blend of ingredients creates a satisfying and comforting meal.
Making of soup

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Swap ham with smoked turkey or sausages.
  • Use various lentil types for different textures.
  • For vegan versions, replace ham with smoked tofu or mushrooms.


  • Stir in spinach or kale for added greens.
  • Incorporate roasted carrots or sweet potatoes for sweetness.
  • Add chili flakes or hot sauce for a spicy kick.


  • Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro.
  • Sprinkle it with grated cheese or a dollop of sour cream.
  • Add crunchy croutons or a drizzle of high-quality olive oil for a gourmet finish.

Scaling The Recipe 

Scaling Up

  • For larger gatherings, simply double or triple the quantities of each ingredient.
  • Make sure to use a pot large enough to hold the increased volume.
  • Cooking time might increase slightly, especially for simmering lentils, so keep an eye on the texture.

Scaling Down

  • Halve or reduce the ingredients to a third if you’re cooking for a smaller crowd.
  • Cooking times should generally remain the same, but always check for tenderness in the lentils and adjust as needed.

What Is Used For Garnishing?

  • Fresh Herbs: Parsley, cilantro, or chives add a burst of color and freshness.
  • Cheese: A grated Parmesan or crumbled feta sprinkle offers a salty tang.
  • Cream: A swirl of sour cream or crème fraîche adds a rich, creamy contrast.
  • Olive Oil: A drizzle of quality olive oil brings a touch of richness and shine.
  • Croutons: Toasted croutons can be scattered on top for a crunchy contrast.
  • Lemon Zest: Grate some lemon zest over the soup for a zesty kick.
Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup

Can I Make Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

  • Sauté Ingredients: In a pan, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until fragrant, then transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Add Ingredients: Add soaked and drained lentils, broth, and ham to the slow cooker.
  • Cook: Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours until the lentils are tender.
  • Final Steps: Stir in the diced ham, half-and-half, and season to taste. Heat for an additional 15-20 minutes before serving.

Instant Pot

  • Sauté Ingredients: Using the sauté function, heat olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant.
  • Add Ingredients: Add the soaked and drained lentils, broth, and ham.
  • Cook: Seal the Instant Pot and cook on manual high pressure for 15-20 minutes.
  • Release Pressure: Allow a natural release for 10 minutes, then perform a quick release.

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

  • Store-Bought Broth: Convenient and time-saving, store-bought broth comes in various flavors and qualities. Opt for a low-sodium, organic option if available, to control salt content and ensure better taste.
  • Homemade Broth: Making your own broth allows for customization and a richer, more nuanced flavor. You can utilize leftover ham bones, vegetables, and herbs to create a personalized base for the soup.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?

  • Meat: Substitute ham with smoked turkey, sausage, or bacon for a different flavor profile.
  • Fish: Add smoked salmon or flaked white fish for a seafood twist.
  • Pasta: Small pasta shapes like orzo or ditalini can be added for additional texture.
  • Vegetables: Incorporate various veggies such as carrots, celery, spinach, or kale to enhance nutritional content and flavor.
Healthy soup

Success Tips-Tips And Tricks For Making The Recipe 

Prepping Tips

  • Chop Uniformly: Cut vegetables uniformly to ensure even cooking.
  • Soak Lentils: Soaking lentils can reduce cooking time and lead to a better texture.
  • Prepare Ingredients: Have all ingredients chopped and measured before starting for a smooth cooking process.

Cooking Time Tips

  • Simmer Gently: Cook the soup at a gentle simmer to prevent overcooking delicate ingredients.
  • Taste Frequently: Regular tasting ensures proper seasoning.
  • Adjust Thickness: Add more broth or reduce longer to reach desired consistency.
Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup

Nutritional Values 

The nutritional profile of Creamy Ham and Lentil Soup offers a balanced blend of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins. It’s a wholesome meal that nourishes the body, providing a significant portion of your daily Vitamin A, C, and Calcium needs, all in a delightful bowl of comfort.

What Are Total Calories In The Soup? 

As a general estimate, a serving of this soup might range between 300-400 calories. This count can fluctuate depending on the fat content of the ham, the type of broth used, and the amount of olive oil or half-and-half added.

Dietary Restrictions For The Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup

  • Gluten-Free: Ensure ham and broth are gluten-free if serving to those with gluten sensitivities.
  • Dairy-Free: Contains half-and-half but can be replaced with a dairy-free alternative.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Contains meat; vegetarian or vegan versions would need meat substitutes and plant-based cream.
  • Low-Carb/Keto: Lentils and milk products may not align with low-carb or keto diets.
  • Halal/Kosher: Ensure ham and other ingredients comply with Halal or Kosher guidelines.

Health Benefits Of The Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup

  • Protein: Lentils and ham provide essential protein, aiding in muscle growth and repair.
  • Fiber: Lentils are rich in dietary fiber, promoting digestive health.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Contains vitamins such as B, and folate and minerals like iron and magnesium, supporting overall wellness.
  • Low in Fat: This can be made with lean ham and low-fat cream to reduce fat content.
  • Adaptable: Easily modified to suit various dietary needs, including vegan or gluten-free options.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition table

How Can I Make Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup Lower In Sodium?

  • Use Low-Sodium Broth: Opt for low-sodium or sodium-free chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Choose Fresh or Low-Sodium Ham: Some hams have lower sodium content; reading labels or using fresh ham can help reduce salt.
  • Limit Added Salt: Season lightly with salt and increase other herbs and spices for flavor.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Utilize fresh vegetables instead of canned, as canned options often contain added sodium.
  • Taste and Adjust: Taste as you cook, adjusting the seasonings without over-relying on salt.

How Can I Make Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup Lower In Sugar?

  • Choose No-Sugar-Added Broth: Some store-bought broths may contain added sugars; opt for varieties without sugar.
  • Check Ham Labeling: Some processed hams might have sugars in the glaze or marinade. Look for plain, unglazed ham.
  • Avoid Sugar-Laden Ingredients: Be cautious with premade spice blends or sauces containing hidden sugars.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Utilize fresh vegetables and herbs instead of prepackaged ones that might have added sugars.
Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup

How To Serve Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup In The Best Way?

  • Warm Bowls: Serve in pre-warmed bowls to keep the soup hot longer.
  • Complementary Sides: Accompany with crusty bread or a fresh salad to create a balanced meal.
  • Garnish: Add a sprinkle of fresh herbs, a swirl of cream, or a drizzle of olive oil for visual appeal.
  • Serve Promptly: Soup is best served immediately after cooking to maintain optimal temperature and texture.
  • Offer Condiments: Provide additional salt, pepper, or special condiments like chili flakes on the side for personalized seasoning.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement The Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup

  • Crusty Bread: Freshly baked or grilled bread to soak up the flavorful broth.
  • Green Salad: A light salad with a tangy vinaigrette to contrast the creaminess of the soup.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Seasonal vegetables roasted with herbs to enhance the earthy tones of the lentils.
  • Cheese Platter: A selection of cheeses with crackers or bread adds a gourmet touch.
  • Steamed Asparagus: Lightly seasoned and steamed for a healthy and elegant side.
Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup

How Long Can We Store The Soup?

  • Refrigerator: In an airtight container, the soup can last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. It’s best to store the soup without any added garnishes or toppings.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, you can freeze the soup for up to 2 to 3 months. Consider using a freezer-safe container and leaving some space at the top to allow for expansion as it freezes.
  • Reheating: When ready to enjoy, reheat slowly on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.

Can I Make Soup In Advance?

  • Cooking: Prepare the soup as directed, omitting any garnishes or final touches.
  • Cooling: Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before storing.
  • Storing: Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days, or freeze for longer storage.
  • Reheating: Gently reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring occasionally.
  • Finishing: Add any final touches, like cream or garnishes, just before serving.

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Reheat and Enjoy: Reheat and enjoy as a quick meal, adding fresh garnishes for a new twist.
  • Blend into a Dip: Blend into a thicker consistency and serve as a dip with crackers or bread.
  • Use as a Sauce: Reduce further and use as a flavorful sauce over cooked meat or vegetables.
  • Create a Casserole: Combine with cooked pasta, and cheese, and bake as a comforting casserole.
  • Add to a Stew: Mix with additional vegetables and meat for a hearty stew.
Healthy soup

Special Tools And Equipment Needed 

  • Large Pot or Dutch Oven: Essential for cooking the soup, providing even heat distribution.
  • Sharp Knife: To efficiently chop the vegetables and ham.
  • Cutting Board: For preparing ingredients.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To accurately measure ingredients.
  • Wooden Spoon or Ladle: For stirring and serving the soup.
  • Blender or Immersion Blender: If you prefer a smoother texture, these tools can puree the soup to your desired consistency.
  • Strainer: Useful for rinsing and draining the lentils.
  • Thermometer: To check if the soup is heated to the desired temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup Be Adapted To Accommodate A Dairy-Free Diet?

Certainly, one can substitute the half-and-half with a dairy-free alternative such as coconut milk or almond cream. Be mindful of potential changes in flavor profile when selecting a non-dairy substitute.

What Type Of Lentils Is Most Suitable For This Soup?

Brown or green lentils are typically preferred for their firm texture and mild flavor, which complements the other ingredients in the soup. Red lentils may become too soft and alter the desired consistency.

Is There A Preferred Cooking Method For Achieving Optimal Flavor In This Soup?

Slow simmering of the soup allows the flavors to meld together, enhancing the overall taste. Sautéing the vegetables until fragrant before adding the liquids can also deepen the flavor profile.

How Can I Adjust The Thickness Of The Soup To My Preference?

The thickness of the soup can be adjusted by simmering it longer to reduce the liquid for a thicker consistency, or adding more broth for a thinner soup. Blending a portion of the lentils can also modify the texture.

Is It Possible To Replace The Ham With A Vegetarian Alternative?

The ham can be substituted with a plant-based alternative like smoked tofu or a vegetarian ham substitute. This adjustment allows the recipe to cater to vegetarian preferences while retaining a similar flavor and texture.

Unlocking Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup With A Blend Of Exotic Ingredients

Unlocking Creamy Ham And Lentil Soup With A Blend Of Exotic Ingredients

5 from 3 votes
Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipes


Prep time




Cooking time







Creamy Ham and Lentil Soup is a comforting and hearty dish, perfect for any season. The combination of tender lentils, savory ham, and creamy texture creates a satisfying meal that warms the soul.


  • Dried lentils

  • Onion, chopped

  • Garlic, minced

  • Chicken or vegetable broth

  • Diced ham

  • Half-and-half

  • Olive oil

  • Salt

  • Pepper

step-by-step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Rinse and Soak: In a large pot, rinse and soak the lentils in water for 1 hour.
    Drain and Rinse: Drain and rinse the soaked lentils.
  • Cooking
    Sauté Onion and Garlic: Heat the olive oil in the same pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, sautéing until fragrant.
    Add Broth: Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, bringing the mixture to a boil.
    Simmer Lentils: Add the lentils to the pot, simmering for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender.
    Add Ham: Stir in the diced ham, simmering for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Blending (Optional)
    Blend for Smoothness: If a smoother texture is desired, partially blend the soup with an immersion blender.
  • Final Touches
    Add Creaminess: Stir in the half-and-half, heating until warmed through.
    Season: Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serving
    Ladle and Serve: Ladle the soup into bowls, serving hot. Garnish with fresh herbs or a sprinkle of cheese if desired.


  • Large Soup Pot or Dutch OvenLarge Soup Pot Or Dutch Oven
  • Sharp Knife and Cutting BoardSharp Knife And Cutting Board
  • Ladle
  • StrainerStrainer
  • PeelerPeeler
  • Measuring Cups and SpoonsMeasuring Cups And Spoons
  • Sachet ClothSachet Cloth Or Cheesecloth
  • Wooden SpoonWooden Spoon
  • ThermometerThermometer
  • Airtight ContainersAirtight Containers


  • Experiment with various herbs and spices to customize the flavor.
  • For a lighter version, consider using low-fat milk or a dairy-free alternative.
  • Monitor the cooking time carefully, as lentils can become overly soft if overcooked.
  • Vegan or vegetarian versions are easily attainable with simple ingredient substitutions.
  • Always taste and adjust seasonings before serving to suit individual preferences.
  • Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs or a drizzle of quality olive oil, for the best experience.
Hanna Barnes
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