Strong cold southerlies. Periods of rain. Even possible snow in hills of lower South Island. Brrrr!
It's time for return of winter recipes.
In a 4.5L slow cooker, I have just put:
* 1kg bacon hock
* 1kg dry split peas
* 2 onions & 2 cloves of garlic chopped and lightly pan fried
* Water to 2cm below the rim of the crock
And turned the cooker on "High".
No seasoning yet, as the bacon hock is quite salty. I intend to cook this for 4-5 hours before taking the bone out and check the taste, then season if necessary. Of course the meat off the bone will be chopped and returned to the soup. Still deciding whether I should put some herbs. Some recipes said bay leaves others say rosemary. Hmmm. Maybe a couple of fresh sage leaves, and perhaps a sprig of rosemary, from my herb pot garden?
Hardware of the day
ZIP Slow Cooker Model 222
(Technically it's whiteware. But whiteware is a type of hardware, right?)
I decided to put some fresh sage leaves and a sprig of rosemary. Needed to cook for about 6 hours until it got to the stage where the meat came off the bone. After taking the hock out, the soup itself was quite thick and very filling. Taste was just right at that stage, but when I added the chopped meat, it got a little salty. So I added a little hot water to adjust the taste.
[Update-2 13:10 next day]
In the morning I discovered the soup had turned into a large pea pudding under clear broth! Stirring was rather tricky. But fortunately I was able to fit the crock in my microwave and stirring became easier after reheating.
I'm very happy with the outcome of this recipe and don't think I'd change my recipe much. I might try putting some pearl barley in for texture, but that would be about it.
[Update-3 20 June]
I've offered this soup to a few friends and received favourable feedback. I'm actually making another batch now, starting with almost the same recipe (only the hock is smaller this time, about 800g). As I commented above, I may add some barley later. Should be good for supper tonight (while watching Doctor Who).
[Update-4 21 June]
Hmmm. Barley wasn't such a good idea. Not only I put too much of it, which swollen up as barley does, its presence was more distracting than adding extra texture, and also made the soup tasting somewhat bland. Will be left out at next attempt.