6 ounces cooked ham, diced finely (or use a ham shoulder and shred after cooking)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
shredded Parmesan cheese to top, optional
In a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker, combine broth, water, onion, celery, carrots, lentils, ham and thyme. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
When ready to serve, stir in spinach. Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese, if using.
If you're preparing this recipe as Dairy Free, leave out the Parmesan cheese.
If you're preparing this recipe as Gluten-Free, make sure the ham that you use does not have any added gluten, and be sure to use a brand of chicken broth that is designated as GF.
I asked for a piece of ham in my meat Dept, and my butcher had some ham shoulders that he said were wonderful to use for soup. I trimmed it of as much fat as I could and then cooked up the shoulder in my soup. Once cooked, I removed it and took out the leaner pieces of shredded ham and added it back into the soup- really good!
Nutritional Information per serving (serving size: Recipe divided into 6 equal portions- excluding Parmesan) Calories: 111, Fat: 1.8g, Saturated Fat: .5g, Fiber: 4.7g, Protein: 11g, Cholesterol: 13.3mg, Carbohydrates: 13.6g