My friend, Nikki, has always made the BEST Lentil Soup. When we first met 40+ years ago, I was a brand-new, very young wife, married to an Air Force man and Nikki and I hit it off immediately. She too was married to an Air Force man, and was just a few years older than me, therefore wiser, right? She also had the benefit of growing up as the daughter of an Air Force officer. This was immensely beneficial over time as we both learned how to be Air Force wives.
Anyway, wayyyyyy back then she made this Lentil Soup. I had never heard of it, and to be quite truthful, the first time I saw it, it did not look that appealing ... I mean it's brown with small bits of ham and carrot in it. Seriously, her own two sons have always called it "mud soup," but they meant that in a good way, hahaha. And it isn't a pretty brown, it's kind of a nasty green/brown ... for some it's very hard to get past that color, but once you do ... oh my goodness, amazing flavor and taste.
Of course I had no idea then how frugal it was to make since lentils were fairly cheap and you used leftover ham pieces and a ham bone to create the soup. It was cheap to make, it fed a lot, was full of fiber and good for you, and also froze well. It fit the "then very tight budget" quite well.
I've tried honestly to make Nikki's Lentil Soup several times, but I have never been successful in making it taste like her's does ... ever. It might come close, but it's never quite the same. I can satisfy myself once in awhile with what I make, but mostly I look forward to getting some when Nikki makes it (at least once a year after the Christmas holiday).
Yep, I sure do look forward to the day a few frozen packs of that delicious soup make their way into my freezer, which is pretty easy since we've followed each other all over the world with military assignments, and she and her husband just live about 30-40 minutes away now. It's awesome to have best friends you've known your whole adult life.