This Instant Pot leftover ham and lentil soup is nutritious, hearty and just perfect to use up all those post-holiday ham leftovers. It’s a mouthwatering soup that’s just perfect for chilly weather!
If you’ve been looking for leftover ham recipes to use up that ham that you still have after feeding a crowd, this ham and lentil soup is an excellent idea!
It’s a healthy and nourishing soup that’s also super flavorful and tasty — just the perfect light meal to enjoy after a couple of days of feasting.
I like to make this ham lentil soup in the Instant Pot because that way, I can use dried lentils and still have it on the table in a bit over half an hour.
However, if you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can easily make it on the stovetop, too. You can find instructions on how to do so below.
Why you’ll love this ham and lentil soup
- It’s the perfect healthy meal to give your body a rest after the holidays.
- It takes just a bit over half an hour to make.
- The soup tastes even better the next day, so it’s a great make-ahead meal.
What goes into this lentil soup with ham
Olive oil — Sauteeing the veggies in a bit of olive oil sets up an excellent flavor base for the soup.
Onion, carrot, celery and parsnip — I like to dice the veggies small so you can get some with every spoonful.
Garlic — Freshly chopped or minced garlic is perfect in this soup, but you can definitely use minced garlic from a jar or frozen garlic if that’s what you have on hand.
Leftover ham — I used about 2 cups (300 g) of leftover ham in this soup, but you can add as much as you like/have.
Diced tomatoes — Use the best quality diced tomatoes you can because they really make a difference.
Chicken stock — Use low-sodium chicken stock as needed.
How to make ham and lentil soup in the Instant Pot
Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté” and wait for it to become hot. Add the oil, onion, carrot, celery stalks and parsnip and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic and red chili flakes and continue to cook for another minute.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to High Pressure for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, perform a quick release.
Stir in the fresh parsley, season to taste and serve with your favorite bread.
Make it on the stovetop
To make this ham and lentil stew on the stovetop, use a heavy-bottomed pot and saute the veggies for 8-10 minutes until they soften.
Follow the next steps as written and bring to a boil after adding the chicken stock. Lower the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are tender.
Leftovers and storage
- The soup will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. It actually tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to develop.
- Reheat the soup gently on the stovetop without bringing it to a boil to avoid the lentils turning into mush.
- You can freeze this ham lentil soup for up to 3 months.
Recipe notes and tips
- Other veggies that work well in this soup include bell peppers, sweet potatoes and zucchini.
- Serve the soup garnished with some extra fresh parsley or some freshly grated Parmesan.
- The soup is great with toast, crusty bread or with a couple of slices of garlic bread.
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced or sliced
- 2-3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium parsnip, peeled and diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 cups (300 g) leftover ham, cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 can (14 oz / 400 g) diced tomatoes
- 1 ½ cup (250 g) green lentils
- 4 cups (1 liter) low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté” and wait for it to become hot. Add the oil, onion, carrot, celery stalks and parsnip and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and red chili flakes and continue to cook for another minute.
- Stir in the leftover ham, dried oregano, smoked paprika, ground cumin, salt, diced tomatoes, lentils, chicken stock and bay leaves.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to High Pressure for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, perform a quick release.
- Stir in the fresh parsley, season to taste and serve with your favorite bread.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 602mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 11gSugar: 8gProtein: 27g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.