After about 3 hours in the slow cooker, the ham was removed, stripped from the bone and used to make ham and cheese pasta. By using all the ham plus a whole 500g pack of pasta, there was enough for at least two meals for us, so we're off to a good start.
My slow cooker is a 6.5 litre, 300w model. By the time the soup was ready, I had 5 litres of the most delicious, thick and very filling pea and ham soup. Protein from all those pulses and some vitamins from the vegetables - nourishing, warming and frugally filling.
Thick Pea and Ham Soup
5 litres of ham stock (homemade)
500g chopped carrots (homegrown)
1 large onion, chopped (homegrown)
1kg of split green peas
Salt and pepper to season
If the soup gets too thick for your liking, simply add a little bit more water. I like to keep mine topped up to the 5 Litres, then serve it thick with a slice of home-baked bread.
You could, of course, use lentils or yellow split peas, but I fancied some nice green pea and ham soup, which freezes just as well as any other type. This recipe can also be used with homegrown peas.
Considering one tin of shop bought soup serves two people, then 5 litres of homemade soup should provide you with up to 25 portions for a total cost of around £1.30, including the electricity you used for cooking. It's quite a luxury at 5p per serving! Mine cost a bit less than this, as I had bought my split peas in bulk while they were on offer at 49p per kilo.
Estimated costs will be slightly increased if you need to buy stock cubes, carrots and onions. We grow most of our own and plan on growing all our ow veg as soo as the new garden is fully up and running.
Dried pulses may have 'best before' dates on the packaging but they should last for years if kept in air tight storage containers. The same applies to dried pasta, flours, sugar and, lest we forget, chocolate. I never miss a chance to stock up on any of these items when they are cheap. As always, the rule of this game is only ever bulk buy foodstuffs that you know you will use. Food waste means automatic disqualification from the game, otherwise.