The holiday seasons bring spiraled ham in our house and inevitably there are a few leftovers plus the ham bone. If your holidays dinners are like ours then ham is a must have and a trip to the local ham store for the traditional glazed spiral ham is required. Leftover ham and/or the ham bone are perfect for this yummy Slow Cooker Leftover ham soup.
This recipe is flexible and using the ham bone is optional. The ham bone can be used for the soup or just use diced ham. I actually have made this recipe with both or just diced ham or just the ham bone. All combinations work equally well!
How To Make Slow Cooker Leftover Ham Soup
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced onions
1 can of diced tomatoes ( I used garlic and basil flavored)
1.5 cups diced ham
1 cup lentils
32 ounce chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper to taste optional (I leave out the salt due as our brand of favored ham is on the salty side)
Ham bone (optional)
Diced Potatoes (optional)
- Dice the ham, celery, onions and carrots.
- Add to the slow cooker / crockpot.
- Add remaining ingredients to the crock pot: lentils, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper.
- Add the ham bone if desired. The ham bone is optional, this soup can be made with just diced ham.
- Cover and cook on high for five hours or use the set it and forget method and slow cook on low all day.
Can I Use Low Salt Chicken Broth or Stock?
Absolutely! The sodium content in ham is high and sodium watchers can substitute low sodium chicken broth or stock. If you want to reduce the sodium further water can replace chicken broth.
How Long Should I Cook The Soup In A Slow Cooker?
As we know, every slow cooker or crockpot has their own unique cooking times dependent upon many factors such as brand and age. In my 4 quart oval slow cooker the Slow Cooker Leftover Ham Soup was perfect at five hours on high heat. The carrots were fork tender, the lentils were soft but maintained their shape and the ham that had fallen off the bone was very tender.
If you love potatoes then feel free to add diced potatoes to the mix! I use 3 medium size red potatoes or one large baking potato; whatever potato is in your pantry works!
If you prefer to let the soup cook all day then cook on low eight to ten hours. This is a very basic recipe which can be easily tweaked! Feel free to use your preferred type of beans. If using canned beans drain the beans and rinse prior to adding to the slow cooker to reduce sodium content.