I have said it so many times before, and will probably continue to say it until the end of winter… I love my slow cooker.
It cost me $20 from K-Mart about two years ago and after all this time it still has not let me down. Best. Purchase. Ever.
Reasons to get a slow cooker:
1/ It cooks your meals for you. Seriously. Just throw some food in it, choose either low or high heat, pour yourself a glass of wine, set a timer and just forget about it until your timer goes off. Then enjoy a big bowl of your “hard work” at the end!
2/ It makes your house smell delicious. Like, really delicious.
3/ It makes you feel like a domestic goddess because you managed to get dinner sorted by the time you’ve downed your morning coffee.
Have I convinced you now? If that’s not enough, here’s another good reason…
You can make delicious recipes like this Pea, Ham and Pumpkin Soup in it! (Nothing like a bit of shameless self promotion, right?)
It really is so simple to make. I prepped this last Saturday morning before I started on some housework, and by the end of the day, I had our work lunches sorted for the week! It really does not get much better than that!
All I did was pop a large smoked ham hock into the slow cooker, then added some split peas, peeled and cubed pumpkin and garlic and leek that I sauteed in some butter.
I then poured over some veggie stock, added a good pinch of pepper and a couple of bay leaves.
I let it cook for 6.5 hours on low heat, then took the ham hock out, removed and discarded the thick rind, sliced off the ham off the bone and diced it all up and added it back to the slow cooker to cook for a further half an hour. It’s ready after that! This is also when I tasted it to see if it needed salt. I don’t add salt until the very end of soups with ham hocks because sometimes it doesn’t need it depending on how salty the ham or stock is. You can always add more salt if it’s a bit bland, but it’s so hard to fix it once it’s too salty. I learned that the hard way!
The peas and pumpkin really soften and start to break down by the end and the texture becomes quite thick, much like a cross between pumpkin soup and pea and ham soup. My favourite way to have it was with warm, crunchy sourdough on the side to soak up all that delicious soup!
Also, I thought I would include this photo in here to show you what it’s generally like behind the scenes of my uber fancy studio (a.k.a my tiny apartment kitchen). I had JUST set up this shot with a brand new tea towel (it came in a 3 pack and cost me $4.50 – but that’s beside the point) and within seconds Severus had jumped up, knocked the bowl over, spilled half my soup, ruined my tea towel and gotten soup on himself. *sigh. Seriously cat, really? You don’t even like soup, ugh…
Hope you enjoyed that small glimpse into my not-actually-very-glamorous food blogging life and I hope even more so that you enjoy this recipe!
If you try the recipe and decide you love it, please feel free to take a snap of it and tag me in it on Instagram or email me a pic if you don’t have Instagram! I’d love to share your photo on here!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 leek, halved lengthways and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ham hock, approx. 1.2 kg
- 800g pumpkin, peeled and cubed
- 1.5 cups dried split green peas
- 1L vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 2-3 dried bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat butter in a pan and saute the leek and garlic for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Place ham hock in the slow cooker, and arrange the pumpkin, peas and sauteed leek and garlic around the ham.
- Pour over stock and water, and add bay leaves and a good pinch of pepper (do not add salt yet).
- Cook on low for 6.5 hours.
- Remove ham hock from pot, take off and discard the rind and take the ham off the bone, dice it up and place back in the pot.
- Cook for a further 30 minutes.
- Stir the soup well and taste to seen if it needs any salt (it may not need it depending on how salty the ham hock or stock is).
- Optional: Serve topped with freshly chopped herbs of choice and a slice of toasted sourdough!