10 September 2013

Tonight's Dinner : An oldie - Slow Cooker Split Pea & Ham Soup

Well.  I don't think that was half bad.  We bought the gammon join for Sunday's dinner (remember?  Gammon with Piedmontese Peppers?) then we had Ham Egg & Chips last night and this evening, we finished off the £7.50 piece of gammon with a home made Split Pea and Ham Soup.  Roughly £2.50 per meal over the three days for the meat content.  Very nice too.


The soup was an absolute dream to make, it was so easy.  I didn't follow anyone's recipe in particular, but read several different recipes (not all of which were for Pea and Ham soup!) for inspiration and just winged it after that.  What made it so easy was the use of my slow cooker (or crockpot) - although if you don't have one of these paragons, you can easily make the same soup on the cooker top in less time with a little more stirring and watching of liquid levels.

I used my favourite Essential Cuisine stock - 1 tsp vegetable stock powder and 1.5 tsp veal stock powder in 1 litre of water.  Now Essential Cuisine stock is naturally low in salt, but if you decide to use stock cubes - do beware of the salt content and definitely use a low salt version.

Hubby declared it to be "proper gorgeous, proper delicious", which I take to be high praise.  Son and heir decided it was a little too salty for his taste (which was odd, as I hadn't used any salt at all!).  I thought it was quite the nicest pea and ham soup I'd had in a very long while.  We ate it with some nice Cheese & Pickle crusty bread from Asda.


Ingredients :

1 onion, chopped finely
2 sticks of celery and a few celery leaves, chopped finely
2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthways and sliced thinly
1 medium potato, diced finely
2 rashers of back bacon, diced finely
1 tbsp of finely chopped fresh parsley
2-3 bay leaves
1 litre very hot stock of your choice (see note above)
250g dried, unsoaked, yellow split peas
freshly ground black pepper
a large knob of butter
6 slices of ham leftover from a gammon joint, cut into fine shreds.

Method : 

1.  Place all the ingredients except the pepper and the butter into the slow cooker and stir to combine.

2.  Turn the slow cooker to High and cook for 5 hours, or Medium and cook for 6-7 hours.

3.  Half way through the cooking time, remove the lid and give the contents a stir.

4.  Add a good pinch of black pepper and stir through, then replace the lid.

5.  At the end of the cooking time, mash the contents roughly with a potato masher.  Do not use a blender, as it will turn your soup into a puree.

6.  Add the shredded ham and stir through.

7.  Remove any bay leaves you can find and add the butter.  Allow it to melt and stir it through, then taste for seasoning and add more freshly ground black pepper if necessary.

Serve, with a little of the shredded ham and some freshly ground black pepper on top for garnish and crusty bread for dipping.

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