Ham Sweet Potato and Spinach Soup. The perfect quick leftover soup recipe to enjoy after a baked ham dinner. This one does not skimp on colour, flavour or nutrition!
A big steaming bowl of this healthy, colorful soup is a meal in itself and comes together rather quickly rather than being a slow simmered soup. To keep this one as healthy as possible I’ve used some low sodium low fat ham that I hand trimmed.
If you want to cut the fat even further or just don’t eat pork, this recipe is also very good using lightly sauteed diced chicken breast or even leftover grilled or roasted chicken or turkey which makes it quite versatile soup recipe. If using meats other than ham, you will have to adjust the seasoning and add salt to taste.
Even though the ham is a reduced salt variety in this recipe I still never use salt when making it. I like to add the spinach at the last minute to preserve its colour and flavour.
I simply roll up several baby spinach leaves per bowl and cut them in strips. I then sprinkle them in the individual soup bowls before adding the final addition of broth to wilt the spinach for a very pretty presentation.
If you’re looking for another terrific leftover ham idea, try our recipe for Ham and Cheddar Potato Cakes!
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- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves mined garlic
- 3 large diced shallots
- 6 cups unsalted homemade vegetable stock ( use salt-free or low sodium if using store bought stock)
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme ( or 2 tsp whole dry thyme leaves)
- 2 tsp yellow curry powder (optional, I enjoy this soup with or without the curry)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1½ to 2 cups sweet potato , diced small (approximately)
- ½ cup dry red lentils
- 1 cup diced sweet bell peppers
- 2½ to 3 cups leftover diced baked ham
- 1 cup chopped baby spinach leaves
Add the olive oil, minced garlic and diced shallots a 3 or 4 quart pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
Saute only until the shallots soften, then add the vegetable stock, bay leaves, thyme, curry powder, pepper and nutmeg.
Bring to a simmer and add the sweet potato and lentils.
Simmer over low heat until the sweet potatoes are almost fork tender and the lentils cooked.
Add the bell peppers and ham. Simmer for only about 5 or 6 minutes.
Remove from heat and ladle into serving bowls along with ¼ cup chopped baby spinach per bowl. Pouring the broth over the spinach to wilt it while preserving its color, making for a more colorful presentation.
I sometimes roast the diced sweet potato after tossing it in a little olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. This adds a little roasted flavor and helps keep the sweet potato from falling apart. When doing this I add it at the end with the peppers.
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