Sunday Plans: Lentil Soup with Potatoes and Ham

by Maris Callahan on October 17, 2008

On Sundays I always fantasize about getting all of my laundry, errands and exercise out of the way early so that by 3 or 4 PM, when the sun is still out but the air is turning crisp, I can be planted in the kitchen prepping meals for the week.

That almost never never happens. Instead, my Sundays are usually a jumble of brunches, treadmill runs, hours idling on my balcony when the weather is nice, and an equivalent number of hours spent glued to my laptop catching up on my neverending reader. Before long, it’s 6PM and I have about 4 hours worth of laundry and productivity in front of me before I get to veg out on the couch, as Sundays were intended for.

But eventually, I got around to making lentil soup. I’ve made it a few times before with a recipe, which I know I have written down somewhere, but I couldn’t find it and decided to improvise.

Lentil Soup with Chunky Potatoes and Ham


1 Tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 ribs celery, diced
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander*
2 cups dry lentils, rinsed
3 cups FF/Reduced Sodium beef broth
1 1/2 cups water (you may need to add more as soup thickens)
4 oz diced ham
1 small white russet potatoes, cubed
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over high heat. Add garlic, onions, celery and carrots and sautee until slightly tender. Add paprika and ground coriander and continue stirring until onions become translucent.

2. Add broth and lentils and let simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until lentils have become tender. Stir consistently, and as soup thickens, add 1 1/2 cups of water, approximately 1/2 cup at a time.

3. Once lentils are tender and soup has formed a thicker consistency, add diced ham and cubed potato. Simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes longer, or until potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Serves about 8.

Now, usually, I post my really good recipes and I blab about how delicious they were. This one was mighty tasty except for one little misstep. Note to self (and internet): In my mind, I intended to use GROUND coriander in this recipe. But my hand, not in line with my mind, grabbed WHOLE coriander. Didn’t ruin the whole recipe, but unless you really like coriander, some spoonfuls just weren’t as tasty as others.

Photo: Whole Foods

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandy S October 17, 2008 at 3:00 am

I love lentil soup and this recipe sounds wonderful. Very cozy, like a comfortable old sweater on one of those can’t-get-warm days!


Kim/hormone-colored days October 17, 2008 at 3:00 am

Yeah, not so photogenic. Glad it worked out okay. I like the column in Rachael Ray mag where people write about their kitchen disasters. Makes me feel competent. Oh, and I like Julie Tilsner’s blog, Bad Home Cooking. She rarely gets it right, but always has a sense of humor.


alexandra's kitchen October 17, 2008 at 3:00 am

yum! it’s like the best part of the pie without all of the work. Now, I have to say, that I totally agree about the work that goes into homemade desserts, and sometimes it isn’t worth it. I think, however, that when the day arrives and you feel so compelled to make your own pie crust from scratch, you will be happily surprised! You might not make it every weekend, but you certainly won’t go back to those store-bought varieties!
I love this idea.


Sarahmary February 6, 2014 at 5:08 am

Your recipe looks easy and yummy. Have you made this since the coriander mishap? Id like to make this but wondering was it better the 2nd time around?


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