Curried Lentil Soup with Ham and Sweet Potatoes, and Parmesan Biscuits


Remember the Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Chard that made a batch far bigger than we could handle in one night? (Or even two, having had leftovers for lunch the next day?) It turned into a mighty fine soup – better than its original incarnation, I think. I quickly cooked up an onion, a chubby clove of garlic and two leafy stalks of celery in a bit of oil, threw in a small chunk of chopped salty ham left over from yesterday, the rest of the lentil-sweet potato stuff (about 3 cups) and a 1L tetra pack of chicken stock. It was fantastic, particularly with the last of the cheese biscuits, which toward the end I started dropping in chunks into the soup and then scooping out with a spoon. I made too many yesterday – 32, once I counted – but better to have too much food than not enough, right? Anyone should be able to mix up a quick batch of cheese biscuits – there is nothing better with a steaming bowl of soup, stew, or chili. And they make pretty fab fried-egg-and-bacon sandwiches, if you’re into that sort of thing.


Parmesan Biscuits

Recipe link


April 13, 2009

You can get away with using about half the fat, if you like - 2 tablespoons of each - but you may have to bump up the milk just a bit. These would also be fab with bits of chopped, cooked ham and green onion stirred in. Add it to the dry ingredients before adding the milk.

  • Makes: Makes 8 biscuits.


2 cups all-purpose flour (or use half all-purpose, half whole wheat)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup canola or olive oil

3/4 cup milk (any kind - 1%, 2% or cream)


1Preheat the oven to 400F. In a bowl or food processor, combine the flour, Parmesan cheese and baking powder. (You won't need to add salt, since the Parmesan cheese is so salty itself.) Add the butter and oil and pulse or stir with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly, with bits no bigger than the size of a pea. If you're using a food processor, dump the mixture out into a bowl.

2Add the milk and stir just until the dough comes together. Pat into a 1" thick circle on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray, and cut into 8 wedges. If you like, brush the tops with a little milk (this will make them brown nicely.) Pull them apart, spacing them at least 1" from each other on the sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.

Makes: Makes 8 biscuits.

One Year Ago: No-knead Bread and Homemade Butter



About Julie

11 comments on “Curried Lentil Soup with Ham and Sweet Potatoes, and Parmesan Biscuits

  1. Jenn
    April 13, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Hey Julie!

    I have a request( I’m not sure if you’ve already done this before!!). I’d love to be more environmentally friendly by eating only local foods, but I’m not sure what is “local” to Calgary. In a future post, I’d love to see you feature interesting dishes made with local ingredients!!


  2. JulieVR
    April 13, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    That is a big problem – not knowing what comes from around here and what doesn’t. I suppose I should mention when my ingredients are local – problem is, I have readers from all over the world so it’s not necessarily local stuff to them! We of course have a ton of pork, beef, bison, chicken, eggs, dairy (Bles-Wold and Vital Green farms), lentils and legumes, cheese (lots of goat cheese, and of course Sylvan Star gouda is my fave), grains (Highwood Crossing oats, flax, flax oil, granola), canola oil of course… limited produce at this time of year but it’s coming…

  3. Carol SB
    April 13, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    …and chives; soon, rhubarb. At some points in AB history, sugar has been grown here; vauxhall, if I’m not mistaken. Not sure how successful processing it was though.
    If you want a reasonable spectrum, the best thing might be to do as gramma did, and ‘put up’ something at almost every time of year. (Local strawberries, frozen dried or canned, in jam or not… ooh, you could use highwood distillers spirits as a base for a rum pot to have next Christmas. Start with a bottle of premium spirits and a really big jar. I use rum, usually, but if you’re set on ‘local’ why not try whiskey? As the year goes on, add any kind of soft fruit: and 1 generous cup sugar for every two (scant) cups of fruit, and stir it up to dissolve the sugar. If you want to focus on local, you can use bits and bits of fruit this way… I’m not too discriminatory, but love the BC cherries and peaches as they come in. Take out the pits, cut up to bite size. Come december, serve with vanilla ice cream or pund cake, or in small dishes with a meringue on the side… also called tutti frutti, but “rum pot’ in my family’s lexicon. If you go above ~5 lb. fruit, add another bottle of the spirits you started off with.)
    I’m sure the ham was local… maybe not the sweet potatoes, but the lentils sure could be!

  4. Val
    April 14, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Can’t wait to make those biscuits! They look & sound like perfection!

    Thank you for sharing your recipe & photos. ;o}

  5. Manon from Ontario
    April 14, 2009 at 5:07 am

    Would you beleive I’m a virgin to biscuits, any kind!

    I will have to try these, as my family does enjoy Chili.

    Thanks for the recipe.


  6. Barb
    April 14, 2009 at 5:43 am

    Rogers Sugar in Taber makes thousands of pounds of granulated sugar out of sugar beets every year. I think we may have more of a problem finding salt.

  7. Heather
    April 14, 2009 at 6:58 am

    Sugar is grown and processed at Taber, AB. Big sugar plant there.

  8. JulieVR
    April 14, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Yes, of course sugar! and Roger’s Golden Syrup (surprisingly close to Lyle’s, which comes from the UK) – even yeast. The Fleischmann’s factory is just a few blocks from my house.

  9. mmac
    April 14, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Speaking of repurposing leftovers, thanks to DWJ I made shepherd’s pie for the first time ever and it was great. Leftover lamb shanks shredded + mashed up lemon roasted potatoes (not nearly as pretty as the sweet potatoes but very tasty), frozen peas and some tomato sauce (as suggested in a Bonnie Stern recipe). It was delicious. THanks for the inspiration. In previous years the lamb and potatoes would have languised in the fridge for a week in the hopes they would be eaten … and then pitched.

  10. Erica B.
    April 14, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Jenn – about local food, I’d suggest you check out Slow Food Calgary, they have an extensive list of local producers: http://www.slowfoodcalgary.ca/directory/ We get our bison from Rocky Mountain Resorts Ranch, and my fave peppers and tomatoes come from Gull Valley (at CFM).

    Last Spring Dee Hobsbawn-Smith came out with a rather comprehensive book on local food etc called Shop Talk, available at Cookbook Co. and I think Chapters.

    Hope that helps,

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