6 cups nonfat chicken broth
3 cups water
2 cups lentils
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup garlic cloves -- chopped
1 1/2 cups celery -- chopped
1 1/2 cups carrots -- chopped
1 1/2 cups salsa -- green chili
1 large white onion -- chopped
1 cup ham -- chopped
2 tablespoons basil -- fresh chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper -- freshly ground
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
Bring three cups broth and three cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add lenti ls, bay leaves, and garlic. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except corn meal and the reserve broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Stir in corn meal and cook an ad ditional 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender but not overcooked. Remove f rom heat and allow to cool.
Puree the mixture in batches. Heat reserve stock and stir in puree. Serve in wa rmed soup bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream (Sour King) and sprigs of cilantro.
The soup will thicken as it cools because of the corn meal. When reheated it re turns to its original consistency. Additional broth or water ca be added to ach ieve desired thickness.