Slow Cooker Pea and Ham Soup

There are some dishes that, despite their humble appearance and ease to make, are really something special.

The ones that make your belly full, and heart warm, and undoubtedly earn a star place on the regular meal plan.

Well, friends, I think I’ve found another of these dishes – as this Pea and Ham soup was rather delicious indeed. It is one of those dishes that I’ve always enjoyed eating, but never actually made, and I had to laugh at my ignorance when I realised that it contains split peas, not green peas!

With simple ingredients, and created easily in the slow cooker, the result was a hearty dinner soup (with lots of leftovers for lunch and for the freezer too). We served ours topped with natural yoghurt, shredded ham from the hock and a sprinkle of parsley. Even the kids loved it – particularly Miss Maggie – who ate bowl after bowl with gusto!

Inspired by this recipe.

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Slow Cooker Pea and Ham Soup
Course Soup
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Soup
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a small frypan over a medium heat. Add the onions, spices and garlic and cook for a few minutes - until the onion softens.
  2. Transfer the onion mixture to a slow cooker. Add the ham hock, parsnips, apples, split peas and 8 cups of water. Stir well, cover, and cook on medium for 8 hours.
  3. Remove the ham hock and shred the meat (discard the bone and fat). Blend the soup using a stick blende until smooth. Stir through the lemon zest and juice, and season to taste.
  4. Divide the soup among serving bowls, and top with some of the shredded meat, natural yoghurt and parsley.
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Chipotle pulled pork and pineapple tacos

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While I’ve not yet travelled to Mexico (and any long-distance overseas travel is probably not on the cards anytime soon) I really do enjoy Mexican food. Perhaps it is because it is relatively simple to create, with a focus on lots of fresh and interesting flavours? Or perhaps it is the spice-factor, that keeps my palate happy?

And these chipotle pulled pork tacos did not disappoint – in  both flavour and spice factor.

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Created with the help of my trusty slow cooker  and time. Lots of time.

With 8 hours taking a large piece of pork shoulder from this…

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To this!

IMG_5565We loaded up the soft tortillas with the pork (of course) and a variety of other toppings – including red cabbage, a spicy green coriander sauce, lime mayonnaise, and grilled pineapple. IMG_5568 And our craving for Mexican food was thereby sated!
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Chipotle pulled pork and pineapple tacos

  • 5 chipotle chillies in adobo
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 150g pineapple, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cumin + 1 tsp
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs white vinegar
  • 1.5kg boneless pork shoulder
  • a bunch coriander
  • 1 green chilli
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • To serve: soft corn tortillas, mayonnaise (mixed with a splash of lime juice and sprinkled with lime zest), shredded red cabbage, grilled pineapple slices and lime wedges.
  1. Place pork into the bowl of a slow cooker.
  2. Process the chillies, orange juice, pineapple, tomato, garlic, 2 tsp cumin, oregano, salt and vinegar until combined. Pour over the pork, turning to coat.
  3. Cover and look on low for 8 hours. Remove pork and shred, then return pork to the sauce to keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, make a spicy green sauce by processing the coriander, chilli, spring onions, ground coriander, juice/zest and oil – until well combined. Season to taste.
  5. Serve the pulled pork in tortillas, and top with cabbage, mayonnaise, spicy green sauce and grilled pineapple – and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.

What about you? Do you have a favourite Mexican dish?

Slow cooked chilli con carne

IMG_4390 I am 100% head over heels in love with our slow cooker. Yes, I know I’m sounding like a broken record when it comes to our newest kitchen addition, but it has seriously been a game-changer these last few busy months. Work has ramped up, our calendar is filling up, and the kids have been sick. Ugh – yes. The dreaded lurgy has hit the two youngest members of our family pretty hard, and although they remain in relatively good spirits (all things considered) there have been a lot of last minute plan changes. So needless to say that not having to worry about dinner on the “slow-cooker nights” has been rather splendid. Take this chilli, for instance. All the ingredients were thrown in around lunchtime, and the cooker set on low. I then had the afternoon free to do what had to be done, and it didn’t even matter that we had to take an unexpected trip to the doctor or that Miss C was dragging her heels when it came to bed time. IMG_4387 For once the kids were all tucked up in bed, we could sit down to a hot meal – that had patiently been waiting for us. All we had to do was add some chopped avocado, sour cream, corn chips and a sprinkling of spring onions. IMG_4389 And dinner was served. Stat. Let me know if you’d like the recipe. IMG_4391 I think I’m almost going to be a little sad to pack up this beauty when Summer arrives (although then, no doubt, I will be singing the praises of the BBQ!) What about you? What is your favourite ‘slow cooker’ meal?

Smoky BBQ pulled pork

IMG_4382 Friends, one thing I’m a little short on at the moment is time. The early mornings are becoming earlier mornings, and even that’s not making my in-tray smaller. If anything its getting bigger! But there was something on our dinner table recently that benefited from time. Lots of time. IMG_4370 9  hours be to be precise. Smoky BBQ pulled pork. IMG_4368 Pork shoulder, honey, BBQ rub, BBQ sauce and bourbon. Into a slow cooker – and cooked for 9 hours. IMG_4372 Yes 9. And, if I ever needed reminding just how wonderful slow cooking can be – I could barely get the pork out of the cooker in order to shred it when those 9 hours were up. It literally felt apart between my tongs. IMG_4377 Yes. It was as good as it looks! IMG_4378 Melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork – with a rich smoky BBQ sauce. Served on some toasted bread rolls – with a good amount of coleslaw and salad on the side. IMG_4381 Yes sometimes it pays to find the time! IMG_4383 I followed this recipe –  You’ve gotta give it a try!

Slow Cooker Bolognaise sauce

IMG_4312 I warned you. I am 100% addicted to my new slow cooker. And I don’t see that changing any time soon. At least not until Spring arrives. The latest creation was a family favourite. Bolognaise. Literally a bundle of ingredients thrown in, lid on, and left to simmer throughout the afternoon. IMG_4305 No browning, no pre-cooking. Just time. IMG_4311 We enjoyed the sauce over a pile of spaghetti, on a particularly chilly Canberra evening. Comfort food in a bowl! IMG_4313 The sauce was rich and had lots of hidden veggies, that Miss C was oblivious to. IMG_4317 Next time I would probably add a little tomato paste, but the overall flavours were still pretty good. With the added bonus that we had load leftover for the following evening(s). IMG_4319 Slow Cooker Bolognaise Sauce

  • 1kg lean beef mince
  • 800g tinned tomatoes – oregano and basil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 tbs garlic paste
  • 6 mushrooms, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried thyme, oregano and parsley
  • 2 tbs worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbs BBQ sauce
  • 1ts beef stock powder
  1. Place all ingredients into a slow cooker, and stir well to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Minestrone Soup in the Slow Cooker

IMG_4063 Yes. I did it. I finally added a Slow Cooker to my (ever-growing) list of kitchen gadgetry. But with temperatures in the minus most mornings this Winter, and days seemingly jam packed with work and kids, the lure of a ‘throw-it-all-in-and-walk-away’ cooker was all too much. IMG_4032 And, I can categorically state that it has already been given a good workout. Pulled pork, lamb casserole, beef brisket, corned beef and, most recently, minestrone soup. IMG_4053 Yes one fine day – around lunchtime, I chopped and diced and placed everything in the bowl of the slowcooker. IMG_4054IMG_4055 Covered with stock, and left to cook on low for 6 hours. Finished with some macaroni (in this case, probably too much macaroni) and allowed to cook for a further hour or so. IMG_4059 Then dinner was served. And lunch. And dinner the following day too. IMG_4064 Served simply with sourdough and a sprinkle of chilli flakes. IMG_4066 So easy. So simple. So convenient!! Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 parsnips – peeled and diced
  • 1 swede – peeled and diced
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 stalks rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbs basil pesto
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups stock
  • 1 can beans (I used cannellini) – rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup macaroni (or less)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  1. Add all ingredients (except for the beans, pasta and peas) to a slow cooker, and cook on low for 6 hours.
  2. Add the beans, macaroni and peas, and cook for a further 30-60mins on medium – or until the pasta is cooked. Add more stock if needed. Season to taste.

What about you? What is your favourite slow cooker meal?