Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Saving Money in the Kitchen with Frugal Meals

Another Frugal and Filling Meal - Pea and Ham Soup

Having bought a large, smoked ham hough (known elsewhere as a ham hock) for £2.00, it seemed frugally fitting to make sure I got my money's worth out of it - so I did!

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.

The water used to cook the ham was then topped up and the slow cooker set in motion to make 5 litres of lovely stock for soup-making.

Once strained and returned to the pan, I added carrots, onions and a full kilo of split green peas, plus the usual salt and pepper to season.

That's it! Let this lot simmer away slowly for a few hours and give it a stir now and again to make sure the peas are all cooking evenly.

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.


  1. Yummm and even more so at the cost!

  2. Brilliant soup (and costings).

    There really is no need to buy tinned soups when it is so easy (and cheap) to make your own is there?

    Sue xx

  3. Why don't you write a Frugaldom cook book?

  4. I love this soup; thanks for the reminder.

  5. Frugaldom food recipes are usually published online. I just can't get my head around expecting anyone to pay to read them, hence the reason they are so frugal. :)

    The time of the year is fast approaching when winter heating is supplemented by extra cooking... could be time for a clootie dumpling soon!


Many thanks for taking the time to comment. All comments are moderated to help prevent system abuse by spammers, time-wasters and chancers, so your comment will not appear until it has been manually accepted for publishing. This will be done as soon as possible - I check for updates regularly. We are on GMT - London times.