Skip to Content

Lentil Soup With Ham

This lentil soup with ham recipe is hearty and comforting, and easy to make. A cozy one-pot meal that is ready in under an hour.

Lentil Soup With Ham

If you’ve ever had homemade ham and bean soup, you know how satisfying it is. This lentil soup with ham recipe is no different! Packed with protein and tasty veggies in a flavorful, slightly smokey broth, it’s perfect for warming up on a winter evening.

Why You’ll Love Lentil Soup With Ham

Hearty & Comforting – This soup has so much flavor! It is full of meat and veggies and a super sippable broth that will chase away the chill and warm your belly.

Healthy – The lentils are high in plant-based protein, and paired with the veggies, offer a great source of fiber and nutrients. Ham is a healthy, lean protein with nutrients and minerals, as long as you’re not using the high-salt variety or fatty portion of the ham. If you’re under the weather, this is a great alternative to chicken noodle soup!

Affordable, Basic Ingredients – You don’t need anything fancy to make this homecooked meal. Leftover ham, dried lentils, affordable produce and a few pantry staples, and this is painless to put together without breaking the bank. And thanks to the aromatics and flavor, it is anything but basic!

Large Portions – We mentioned that it is affordable, and you can make a large portion without spending a lot of money. This recipe will serve at least 8 good-sized portions, but you can add more lentils, meat, veggies, and broth to bulk it up even more. It’s great if you like to have leftovers on hand.

Versatile – We’ll talk more about different directions to go with this soup, but it is easy to change it up if you want to. Add more vegetables, season it to your taste, eliminate the meat and make it vegetarian…you’ve definitely got options with this recipe.

Lentil Soup With Ham Ingredients Notes

  • Ham: We use leftover ham from cooking a bone-in, spiral cut ham. If you don’t have leftovers, you can use fully cooked ham steaks.
  • Lentils: We use dried green lentils for this recipe and it takes about the same amount of time for the lentils and potatoes to become tender. You can use any color of lentil you prefer, or a combination, but we definitely recommend dried over canned.
  • Aromatics: Onion, garlic, celery, and carrots create an outstanding flavor profile for this broth.
  • Tomato Paste: Just a small amount of tomato paste added to the broth adds depth and brings out the flavor of the veggies.
  • Bouillon: We use a combination of chicken and beef with this recipe, but you can use one or the other if you have a preference. It won’t change the overall flavor profile too dramatically. We use the bouillon powder rather than cubes or paste.
  • Potatoes: Our favorite comfort food! We use peeled russet potatoes but you can use red potatoes or gold potatoes as well.
  • Seasonings: The bouillon and ham add enough salt to the soup so we don’t add more of that with the exception of a bit of celery salt. Instead of black pepper, we use white pepper so as not to overpower the smokiness of the broth. Thyme is our final other seasoning here bringing earthy floral notes to the soup.

Find the complete ingredients list with measurements in the lentil soup recipe card below.

Lentil Soup With Ham Ingredients

How To Make Lentil Soup With Ham

  1. Sauté: Melt the butter and sauté the veggies and garlic until tender and aromatic.
  2. Build the broth: Stir in the water and bring to a boil. Add the bouillon, tomato paste, and seasonings and stir until well blended.
  3. Finish the soup: Add lentils, ham, and potatoes, return to a boil, simmer until potatoes and lentils are tender, serve and enjoy.
How To Make Lentil Soup With Ham

Variations, Substitutions, & Cooking Tips

Make it vegetarian – Omit the ham and use vegetable broth or bouillon instead.

Use broth or stock – If you don’t have any bouillon on hand, you can use chicken broth, beef broth, veggie broth, or a combination.

Use a ham bone – It’s not essential here as the broth is already full of flavor, but if you like, add a ham bone when you add the water to help add even more flavor.

Type of ham – We used leftover spiral ham, but you can chop up any fully cooked ham such as ham steak, leftovers from a boneless half or quarter ham, you could even chop Canadian bacon for a similar flavor.

Give it some heat – Stir in a can of diced green chiles to spice it up a bit.

Add bacon – I know, I know. There’s a lot of ham in this soup, but stirring in cooked and crumbled bacon is a sure way to give this soup a boost.

Add more veggies – Spinach, kale, peas, a can of diced tomatoes, leeks, and parsnips are all great additions.

Garnish it with parmesan – A couple shakes of grated parmesan over the top adds another smoky element to bring out the flavors of lentil soup with ham.

Swap the butter – If you are trying to avoid butter, you can use olive oil, avocado oil, or ghee to sauté the aromatics.

Make ahead – You can make this ahead of time and reheat when you’re ready to eat.

Storage & Reheating

Store any leftover lentil soup with ham in an airtight container, being sure to let it cool before sealing the lid. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To reheat, pour desired portions into a pot on the stove and reheat over medium, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. You can also add portions to a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave in one minute increments. Stir between zaps and cook until heated through.

Lentil Soup With Ham

Lentil Soup With Ham

Yield: 10-12 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This lentil soup with ham recipe is hearty and comforting, and easy to make. A cozy one-pot meal that is ready in under an hour.


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 2 tsp beef bouillon
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 3/4 cup lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped leftover ham
  • 1 1/2 cups diced potatoes


  1. Melt butter over medium high heat in a dutch oven or high sided soup pot (8-12 quart size)
  2. Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic and sauté until onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Increase to high heat, pour in 8 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in chicken and beef bouillon while water is boiling, then add the tomato paste, celery salt, thyme, and white pepper. Stir until the tomato paste is mixed in.
  5. Add ham, lentils, and potatoes. Return to a boil.
  6. When the soup has returned to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 20 more minutes or until the lentils and potatoes are cooked through. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 98Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 509mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Try These Recipes Next!

Heidi Deal
Latest posts by Heidi Deal (see all)
Skip to Recipe