Ham Hock and Lentil Soup

8 to 10 servings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups small diced onions
  • 1 cup small diced celery
  • 1 cup small diced carrots
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 3 to 4 smoked ham hocks
  • 1 pound orange lentils
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, celery, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 4 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Saute for 1 minute. Add the ham hocks and stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook about 1 hour, or until the hocks are tender. Add the lentils and continue cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Reseason with salt and pepper if needed. Remove the ham hocks and remove the meat. Add the ham back into the soup. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and serve with crusty bread.

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    while i really hate Emeril and avoid his recipes at all cost I was intrigued by this recipe and gave it a shot. Turned out great. I halved most of the ingredients - don't need as many portions. I also omitted salting at the end - the smoked shank added plenty of salt. Further, I only used one piece of ham - we don't eat that much meat. I also traded the chicken stock for vegetable stock and while i was concerned the flavors really came together well.
    Needed a quick recipe for Ham Hocks and Lentil Soup, Emeril Lagasse's recipe came through for me! I used 2 teaspoons of dried thyme instead of the fresh ones. Just to kick-it-up-a-notch, I added 2 small cut up potatoes.
    I added chunks of ham and this was outrageously delicious! The lentils, ham, carrots and celery seem to melt together. The children even loved it which means this has become a "go to" meal for me. The only way to make this one better is if Emeril made it for me!
    This is my go-to basic lentil soup recipe. All I do is add any other item I want to modify it with such as chicken, meat, lamb, ham, etc. Delicious on its own, of course.  
    Making it today, again... on this cold day in FL (56 deg. F).
    It was delicious! I loved this thick warming soup. My only complaint is it was a tad salty. There's no need to salt the vegetables as they're cooking.
    Very tasty and easy. Thanks again Emeril. I followed the recipe almost exactly..(I isn't possible to get anything but dried tan lentils here) ....but ham hocks are always available. I had to cook the lentils for an additional 25 minutes and add a cup more stock. The end result was very comforting smoky ham and beans dish.
    I don't like posting reviews on recipes I've modified but I will in this case because it might help other users. Ham hocks are mostly skin, bone, and cartilage. If you cook this recipe with only ham hocks, there will be very little meat to eat. I substituted ham hocks with smoked neck bones because they have the same smokey flavor and they have some meat on them. In addition, I used standard green lentils. Green lentils take about fifty minutes or so to cook so I added them about forty minutes after adding the neck bones. Everything else was completed per recipe instructions. The soup was very tasty and I'd definitely make it again. The smokey meat with the beans and vegetables reminds me of good ole' country-style food.
    Really good soup. To those who said the soup took much longer to make, you must use the orange lentils as mentioned in the recipe (red lentils. They cook much faster than the "regular" lentils.
    This was just so, so. Just trying to get everyone to eat their lentils...but no such luck.
    I used 1/2 of my own chicken stock that is made with no salt and plain water for the other half, . Used my Christmas ham bone and cooked with the vegetables and broth till the meat just about fell off the bone. At the end added the lentils and cooked for an additional 35 minutes. Very pleased with the end result. Never added any additonal salt.
    We loved it. We boiled a ham bone, chilled the broth, skimmed off the fat and then used the broth, plus cubed ham. It was great and will make it again.
    This was very tasty. I used the ham bone from a spiral ham. I added left over ham, extra veggies, extra spices, a chicken bouillon cube, and a can of roasted tomatoes. I will definitely make again.
    The soup was great. We loved it and had used the bone from a Honey Baked ham as well. The only difference is that having read many of the comments, I soaked the lentils in water first and it cooked within the half hour. I did not need too much salt as the ham has some already....so salt after tasting the broth! LR
    I make mine with bouillon cubes and water, because that's what I keep on hand. I use less onion (my family doesn't like too much in any recipe and I cook the soup longer than called for in the recipe, because the lentils are always too hard after half an hour. I've made this soup a half dozen times and it's come out great every time.
    This is just an awesome recipe! Loved the thyme in it! I didn't have fresh so had to use dried. Love the ease of it as well.
    This recipe is delicious!!! I cooked the lentils for a little longer than called one hour, because I like them tender.
    After 30 minutes the lentils were still very hard!! And, the soup tasted too salty even though I didn't add extra salt. Very disappointed!! Also, the ham hocks didn't have meat on them! :(
    The best lentil soup I've ever made!
    After reading ALL of the reviews, it is obvious that those who gave lower ratings did NOT make the recipe as written. Substituting ingredients from those that are given are a different recipe. This is not a bad idea and should be encouraged to make the recipe your one however, but do not judge the written recipe based on your substitutions.
    I followed the instructions of the lady to do half water/half stock. I didn't add the ham or salt untill the lentils were cooked(due to being too salty) from previous comment. It was good without any salt or ham, I added ham and gosh it got salty. It still fine, I would cook it without any ham next time. I didn't add carrots, garlic or onions and it turned out great. I always cook lentil plain like it I like them that way, but I do enjoy garlic and onions there.
    Easy recipe to follow and sooo good. I used the bone and left over honeybaked ham from Christmas instead of ham hocks. I added all the crunchies and basting left in the foil wrap. Did everything as directed in the recipe, except I used half water and half chicken stock. Then because I really like the juice, I added another cup and a half water as it simmered. I think it does take longer to cook, I had my soup simmering at noon and kept it on low heat until we ate at 5. It was really good, perfect if your not feeling well or need something to warm you up. I also warmed it up the next day by adding a cup of water, it tasted even better.
    Several mistakes with this recipe: 1. When you boil down the hamhock the chicken stock gets too thick. Would have been better to use half stock/half water. 2. Too salty. 3. Celery, carrots, onion mixture should not be added until the last 20 minutes of cooking- they came out like mush. 4. Lentil recipe says they should be done in 30 minutes... I boiled mine for 45 minutes and the still were undercooked. I'll try it again with these changes
    I made this soup with the ham bone from the toasted spice/honey ham recipe here. the toasted spices definitely flavor the soup and are very much worth the effort. The soup would not have ben as flavorful without this extra kick. As it was, it was a huge hit- and very easy.
    Made this soup with a Spiril Ham Bone. My wife and I agreed that it was jut "OKAY" nothing to rave about. We have had better lentil soups.
    I added small red potatoes & used smoked ham hocks from the grocery store. I didn't need to add the liquid smoke. I also doubled the cooking time for the lentils & added extra stock. It was still thick but ultra YUMMY! My 8 year-old loved it (even the carrots) and I had plenty left for left overs which were just as good. I will definitely do this again as winter progresses.
    I started this recipe at 6:00 and finished @8:30. I added the liquid smoke as suggested, 3 small red potatoes, red and green bell peppers and dumplings to this recipe. Hamhocks and Lentils took twice the time. so I added lentils in after 1st hour as hamhocks needed additional tenderizing. Lentil soups should be thick however I had to add water to accomodate for additional cooking time. The time was worth it. I love lentil soup..It was delicous and my 15 month old could not have enough.
    Made this with a leftover spiral ham. Followed recipe although I only had regular lentils. Took advice of a few others and added a couple of dashes of liquid smoke. Best tasting lentil soup my wife and I have ever had. A winner.
    If you've never had lentils, don't be afraid of this recipe. It's easy and full of flavor. I used my leftover spiral ham bone from Thankgiving. Since it wasn't smoked, I added 2 capfulls of liquid smoke (1 capfull in the beginning and 1 more when I added the lentils). I omitted the garlic and parsley since I didn't have them on hand. The lentils took about twice as long to cook so be sure to allow for extra cooking time. Since the soup becomes thicker as the lentils cook, I ended up using 2 extra cans (4 cups) of chicken stock to get a consistency that I liked.
    I used two spiral ham bones and added 1/4 tsp. of liquid smoke instead of smoked ham hocks. Everyone wanted the recipe!!
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    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen