I put two ham shanks into my stock pot along with 1 yellow onion, 2 cloves of garlic, a bay leaf, salt, pepper and two quarts of water and let simmer until the water reduced by half. I added more water and let it cook some more, until I had a rich, dark broth. I added 2 cups of lentils, some salt, pepper and cumin and let it continue to simmer for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, I chopped up 2 carrots and half a head of celery and tossed them in. I removed the shanks and let them cool, took the meat off the bone and chopped it up before adding it back.
When I added the lentils to the soup, I turned the oven to 450 F and put some brussels sprouts and fingerling potatoes in a baking pan with some olive oil and kosher salt salt and let bake until the potatoes were done and beginning to caramelize.
The soup has a rich, meaty flavor and was deliciously filling. The potatoes and brussels sprouts added a nice fresh taste, especially lovely with the toasty, slightly salty seasoning.