Healthy Ham & Vegetable Soup
1 medium onion
1/4 cup celery leaves
1/2 cup barley or lentils
Pick ham off of bone. Set ham aside. Put ham bone and fat in a stock pan. Add water to cover ham bone. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat, cover and let simmer a couple hours. Don't let water evaporate. Add more if needed.
Take bone, fat and any chunks out of broth. Let broth cool and put in refrigerator to allow the fat to harden. The fat will rise to the top and you can remove it easily with a spoon. (By cooking the fat you will add a lot of flavor to the broth)
Chop the onions, carrots, turnips, and beets into bite-size pieces. Chop the celery leaves into about 1/4" pieces. Add the vegetables to the broth. Now is a good time to add black pepper to taste. Add the lentils or barley. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down, cover and simmer. Cook until tender.
Chop the ham into bite size pieces, add to soup and let simmer a few minutes. Since some hams are salty wait until now to taste before adding salt.
Adjust which vegetables and spices and how many to use to satisfy your taste buds and what you have on hand. One or two beets make the broth a pretty rose color. I added celery leaves because I have them in my freezer from the garden and they do add a nice flavor.