Lentils are not something that I often cook with, like ever. But when a friend of mine gave me a bag of these little bean-type things, I was up for the challenge. So just after the holidays, when there was extra ham to go around, I experimented with lentils. This is after all a New Years tradition.
I found these little beans tender and absorbed the flavors well. They were easy and faster to cook with than more standard beans and multiplied like little rabbits. A little goes a long way. This combination worked out very well and the cumin added a nice edge.
Slow Cooker Ham and Lentil Soup
1/2 bag (8 oz.) dry lentils, rinsed and sorted
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 can tomato paste (optional)
1/4 cup sherry, broth or beer (optional)
3/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
ground cracked pepper
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low 8-10 hours.