Autumn recipes – Lentil soup

 In Autumn, Fruit, Vegetables and Cereals, Ingredients, Meat, Poultry and Game, Pork/Ham, Recipes, Scottish Heritage, Seasons, Soups, Spring, Vegetables, Winter

When the cold weather bites and your heart starts to feel a little heavy at long dark nights through the interminable winter months, there’s one thing that wraps you up like a childhood comfort blanket. A big bowl o’ soup. Lentil soup was never my favourite growing up, I always preferred the creamy bite of barley in Scotch Broth. However, as with many things, nostalgia seems to coat the tastebuds with a little more tolerance and those things you used to turn your nose to start to taste better and bring a certainty to an uncertain life. This soup can be made with stock cubes, but is far better when you’ve made the stock yourself by boiling a ham hough or ribs for a couple of hours. The twin benefit of releasing a natural smoky, salty flavour whilst also yielding the meat to supplement the pulses. However if you’re in a hurry of an evening substitute the ham for 3 stock cubes. This is my Mum’s recipe and I’ve not even bothered trying to tamper with it. Why would you?!

Lentil soup

Serves 6-8

1 ham hough or 350g ham ribs, preferably smoked
1 mug red lentils (around 200g)
2 leeks chopped
3 carrots grated
Salt and pepper


1. Place the ham in a large saucepan, cover with approximately 2.5 pints cold water and cover. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 2 hours until tender. Remove the meat and bones, reserving the meat.

2. Add the lentils and vegetables and bring back to the boil, reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are tender.

3. Add the strewn meat back in, correct for seasoning and serve with a good grinding of black pepper.

Recommended Posts
Showing 9 comments
  • Sumayya

    wonderful memories, simple loving recipe – just like you x

    • scotslarder

      Thank you Sumayya. The flavours filled with love are the ones we never lose sight of x

  • Katrina

    Just made a big pot of Lentil soup with your recipe. I’m in North Carolina and it’s Saturday, the day my Mum always made soup.
    Good memories of home eating this great soup.

    Thank you.

    • Graeme Taylor

      Hi Katrina,

      Many thanks for your comment. So glad you enjoyed the soup, and even more so that it brought back happy memories.

  • Ray Mason

    Lovely recipe I have eaten this soup for 60 years .
    I would never use smoked hough but would add a whole onion and a small pinch of sage but this is only me , great soup though .

  • Karen Caldwell

    Came across your site and this recipe. Soup is amazing. Make a huge pot so my elderly neighbours all get a tub handed into them. Everyone loves it. Ty 😀

    • Graeme Taylor

      Hi Karen, how lovely to hear this, and how thoughtful. Definitely made me smile today. Thank you.

  • Ailsa

    Hi Graeme

    I’m using bacon ribs. Is it best to soak them first?


    • Graeme Taylor

      Hi Ailsa, I wouldn’t soak them when they’re going into a big pot as the salt will be diluted. I’d just wait until the end to test the seasoning and adjust. Unless you feel they’re very salty and might overpower.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.