The weather seems to have turned cold. When I woke up this morning there was snow on the ground. There was only a centimetre which soon melted but it was the first snow of the year. It has been really frosty and very cold temperatures have been predicted this week. It is the perfect weather for getting out your slow cooker and experimenting with different dishes. I love coming home on a cold evening and finding a meal ready and waiting for me. I open the door and can smell the cooking when I walk in, all I need to do is put on some vegetables and I can eat in no time. It means I can enjoy warming stews and casseroles without the wait. After a long day at work it lifts your spirits not to have to put the effort into cooking.
For some time I have been told that slow cookers are great for making soup. Normally I make soup in a pan but this weekend I decided to try making slow cooked ham and split pea soup. I had some yellow split peas in my cupboard that I have had for ages. Now seemed a good time to get rid of them and clear some cupboard space. Split peas are one of those things that seem like a good idea to buy and then you wonder what to do with them.
It also seemed a good excuse to make some bread to go along with the soup. There is something heart warming about a bowl of warm soup and crusty home made bread on a cold day. The soup was simple enough to make, I added a chunk of gammon, some yellow split peas, some onion and carrot into the slow cooker. I topped it up with water, stock and a splash of wine. For a subtle herb flavour I threw in some thyme, which is still growing in my garden oblivious of the snow. I then switched on the slow cooker and got on with the house work.
After a few hours the soup was ready. I used a food processor to make the soup a smooth consistency and served it up. It was the perfect warming meal. Ideal comfort food it is cheap and flavourful as well as being really easy to make.
If you want to try a pea soup using fresh peas then this pea and leek soup is bursting with flavour and really tasty.