"I live on good soup, not on fine words"....Moliere
This is a recipe from one of my favorite recipe books...The Soup Bible. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of diced smoked turkey. Since I didn't have smoked turkey in the house when I made it, I used diced ham, leftover from a nice baked ham my mum had made, and found the recipe to be fabulous. Also, the original recipe only called 1/4 cup of the turkey, but that didn't seem substantial for a meal for two, so I used just a bit more!
2 tbsp butter
1 large carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, white part only, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup lentils
1 cup diced ham (turkey ham would work well too)
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the carrot, onion, leek, celery, and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, until golden. Stir in the wine and stock and bring to a boil. Add the thyme and bay leaf. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the lentils and continue cooking, covered for 30-40 minutes until lentils are tender. Stir occasionally.
Add the diced ham and season with the salt (if you must) and pepper. Simmer 5-10 minutes until the ham heats.
Fish out the bay leaf and serve the soup with some nice warm crusty bread and butter. It's a meal in itself.