We had a great Thanksgiving but it’s come and gone. All that is left is dealing with the leftovers—leftover turkey, leftover ham. Our Thanksgiving tradition is to serve both a turkey and a ham. We always have a broad breasted turkey and a bone in ham. And our after Thanksgiving tradition is homemade soup from the leftovers.
So the weekend following Thanksgiving (or any holiday, really) one of my favorite things to do is making soup in my crockpot. Sometimes I go for new recipes and other times I stick to tried and true favorites. This year I wanted to use an old classic – Crockpot Leftover Ham & Lentil Soup.
I remember my mom making this soup when I was a kid. It is a hearty soup – perfect for these shorter fall days. It is easy to throw together and it can be cooking in the crock pot while you do your shopping! When you get home this hearty meal is ready. It’s really easy and tastes great on a cold evening!
Every year we get into a discussion on which is better – boneless or bone in hams. Boneless hams are a bit easier to serve, while I believe bone-in hams impart added flavor. A bone-in ham has the best flavor, texture, and shape. I think meat tastes best when cooked on the bone. (And a ham bone is serious kitchen currency; save it—you can freeze it—to make the best bean soup.) A partially boned ham is next best; it looks like a big football, but it’s easy to carve, and if you’re carving in the kitchen, no one will see its funny shape anyway.
Some years all I have left to make soup from is the ham bone. This year I rescued enough of the leftovers to have about three and a half cups of ham for the soup, but the truth is that whatever you have in leftovers will be just fine. The soup is very flavorful.
Crockpot Leftover Ham & Bean Soup is a delicious way to use leftover ham from Thanksgiving.