Here is what I did.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced onion
1 cup minced carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound uncooked Italian Sausage, if sausage is in links remove the sausage from the casing and break sausage up prior to cooking- (use spicy if you would like for the soup to be spicier, I used mild because this is what I had in the freezer)
2 ounces diced ham (about 1/2 cup cut from a ham steak)
7 cups of water
5 cups chicken broth (I used homemade broth)
1 pound dry lentils, rinsed (I used red lentils since this is what I had on hand)
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic, cook until onions are slightly soft. Add sausage and cook for about 8 minutes, breaking up sausage as you stir. Add ham and cook for an additional minute.
Add the remaining ingredients to pot, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Stir from time to time during the 1 hour period.
Everything in the pot and cooking
The finished soup
A few notes: Careful on the salt. Most commercial made broths are loaded with salt as well as a cured ham steak. If you are using these products you may want to taste the broth as it cooks to see if you need to add salt. In my case, the broth is homemade (no salt added) and the ham steak is a non cured ham from a local farm. I actually had to add a little bit of salt to add a little more flavor.
Also, I think the next time I make this soup I may add navy beans instead of lentils for a different flavor. Will have to see what they is like and let you know then.