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Pea and Ham Soup

This is a winter favourite of mine. It is about the cheapest and simplest recipe I use and rewards the small effort required with a tasty warm meal. We like the soup quite thick almost like mushy peas with bits of bacon in it.

Ingredients (amounts used in my last run of this shown in brackets):

Follow the instructions on the packet for soaking the peas. I usually wash the peas in cold water then place them in a pan covered with plenty of cold water, add the bicarbonate of soda and leave them to soak over night.

The following day wash the soaked peas and throw the water they soaked in away. Wash out the pan and then return the peas to it. Cover the peas with new cold water and bring the peas to the boil on the hob. When the peas are boiling, snip up the bacon and add it, also add the stock cubes. Simmer the soup for 15 minutes.

At this stage I transfer the boiling soup to a slow cooker and let it cook for 8 to 10 hours. Read your instructions for your own slow cooker if you are going to do this. If you do not have a slow cooker the soup should simmer gently for 2 to 3 hours. I have not cooked this on a hob alone but that seems a reasonable cooking time to me. Give it an occasional stir. Depending on how you like the peas you can break them up a bit before serving. Like most soups and stews you can make this the day before you want to eat it. The rest over night in the fridge and subsequent reheating improves the flavour. Serve in large bowls, add salt and pepper to taste and eat with fresh bread and butter.

This is a great soup if you are after something cheap. The dried peas are usually under 50p per bag and you can get bacon offcuts from you local butcher for a similar price. You can knock the whole thing together for a couple of pounds.

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Last updated by : Andy Jackson on 08/12/13
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