½ lb. lean country smoked ham
3 medium-size carrots
½ lb. green lentils
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons curry powder
5 cups fresh chicken broth
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
1. Remove most of the fat from the ham and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
2. Trim and scrape the carrots and cut them into 1/4-inch cubes.
3. Pick over the lentils, wash them and drain into a colander.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a kettle or saucepan. Add the ham, carrots, onions, garlic and curry powder. Cook briefly over medium heat, stirring, until the onions are wilted.
5. Add the lentils, 4 cups of the chicken broth, water, bay leaf, thyme and salt. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 24 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Remove one cup of the soup, with more lentils than liquid, and set aside. Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
7. With a potato masher or wire whisk stir the soup briskly to mash the lentils, and return the soup to a boil. Add the remaining cup of chicken broth, the reserved lentils, the vinegar and the remaining butter. Check for seasoning and serve, sprinkled with the coriander.
Source: New York Times Cooking (6 servings)