Classic Pea & Ham Soup: Slow Cooker/BUDGET!


By Michelle Shearer

Ah ze Pea and Ham Soup.  My husband lovingly refers to it as Peanum Soup.  Gets a laugh from me every time.

Did I ever tell you about my husband and my slow cooker?   The time when he decided he didn’t like the way it did things e.g. cooked slowly?  He hid it from me.  He hid my slow cooker from me.   But, I found it (he hid it under the house) and put it to hard labour the moment the temperature dipped below 30.

I love this recipe, you can really adapt to use up whatever you have in the fridge or the larder, particularly useful if you’re participating in our Lean Larder Challenge (the exception is tinned mackerel.  Don’t put that in this recipe.  Leave that in the darkest recesses of your larder and then bury it in the garden at midnight when the opportunity arises).

I find this meal satisfying to cook (cos it’s easy!) and my family really enjoys a bowl of it with freshly made flat bread.

Also, importantly, fishing around for the bits of ham hock reminded me of that scene in Flash Gordon where he was having to put his hand in that swamp, do you remember that?  Or was it Star Wars?


3 cups green dried peas (use yellow if you like)
2 onions, diced
4 sticks celery, sliced
3 carrots, diced
4 bay leaves
Small bunch thyme
1 medium smoked ham hock
6 cups vegetable broth
S&P (taste as you go with your salt as with the stock and the salt of the ham this can get over salted).


  1. Rinse the peas in a colander and pop in your slow cooker
  2. Add everything else and set your beloved slow cooker to low and cook for 10 hours.
  3. At the end, pull out the ham hock and chop up the nice bits of ham (pop this back in to the soup) and ditch the dodgy fat and bones (or, if like me, you have a husband who hides your darling slow cooker, you may feed him said dodgy bones and fat).

Serve as is, a richly flavoured, budget classic or with freshly made, easy and cheap flat breads.


What’s YOUR go-to budget recipe for the winter?  Do YOU remember Flash Gordon?


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