Ready for the syn free split pea and ham soup? No worries. You can use an Instant Pot, slow cooker or a hob. But I need to moan first! If you want to go straight to the recipe and skip the writing, it’s simple: just click on the MISERABLE COW just below. Go on, why not.
It seems a little unfair and rash of me to wish to strike all children from the face of the Earth like a mincing King Herod, but see, I was stuck behind a car full of someone’s crotchgoblins this morning for 40 minutes whilst the traffic slugged down the A1, choking as it was with the massive load of extra cars on the road now that you and your lovely children are back on the road. 40 minutes is a long time to fake enthusiastic waves and wan smiles at snotty-nosed children for whom looking out of the back window and pulling faces is infinitely more fun than sitting still and being silent. I was already in a poor mood because:
- it’s Monday;
- it’s Monday;
- it’s still Monday; and
- thanks to the children of Earth collectively going back to school today, I had to leave the house at 7.30am instead of 8.30am and that meant getting out of bed early.
There’s only one reason gay, childless men get out of bed early and that’s to fetch the lube from the chiller. Our normal routine consists of a gentle alarm going off at 7 which we snooze for two ten minute period before my phone alarm goes off, announcing the time in a cold, robotic voice. That’s Paul’s cue to get out of bed, put the coffee on and go for his shower. I’ll deign to rise about 7.40am, once I’ve been assured that there’s a warm coffee and a hot shower waiting for me. Stay longer than that and I’ll get a cold reception and a frozen willy. I can then lounge about luxuriantly for an hour or so, cultivating my daily farts and working on my yawns, whilst Paul dashes about feeding the cats and dismantling the alarms like he’s on an automatic lock-in on the Crystal Maze. It’s marvellous.
But no, not anymore. Now I have to rise, shower, shave and shite (forever careful not to get my hands mixed up, I think work would disapprove if I turned up with a Dirty Sanchez and a bleeding arse) as though there’s a bomb strapped to my gunt and only getting onto the A1 before half seven will defuse it. It’s just awful. You know who is to blame? Your children. No it’s really that simple: I’m sure they’re lovely and all, with their moon eyes and higgedly-piggedly baby teeth, but you really ought to have just stopped at that seventh Campari and not given in to your carnal urges so many years ago. That way the roads would be clear, I’d be able to bask in my own bed-sweat until a reasonable hour and everyone would be happy.
Actually, let’s just build a lane on the side of each road for gays without children. I can use some of the pink pound that my pockets are so awash with. Perhaps call it the Marmite Motorway, or the Backseat Driver Lane. Pink Lane. We’re nearly there. We’d have hard shoulders every 100 yards with AA men built like hi-vis hot water tanks to tend to our exhaust pipes and steamy radiators. Ah, a boy can dream.
Anyway, I posted something along all of the above in our group this morning and got roundly supported by all those who could tell I was being facetious. I don’t actually hate children. How could I? They’re going to grow up and be the ones spooning cabbage soup into my mouth and putting me in front of Countdown. I received a terse riposte from a stern looking woman with eleven o’clock shadow telling me that perhaps my mother should have kept her legs shut.
Pfft: good luck with that. I’ve been telling her that for 31 years and it still hasn’t made a difference. They don’t call her Can-Can-Christine for nowt, you know.
Speaking of split peas, let’s rattle off this recipe. Can you tell we are trying to use our Instant Pot more? It’s because we will forget how good it is until we use it again, then we can’t get enough. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you we made this soup three nights in a row. It’s beautiful, and a cheap, easy soup to make. Admittedly it doesn’t photograph well: I’m more than aware it looks like I’ve already ate it all, passed it and photoed it, but please, trust me when I tell you it’s tasty. There’s an added bonus – if you leave it overnight to go cold it sets like gorgeous pease pudding, which you’d expect given it’s made from split peas. Don’t know what pease pudding is? Get out of my life.
As always with our recipes, you don’t need to buy an expensive bit of kit to make them. An Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker) will make this recipe quick and easy, but you can do it in a slow cooker or even on the hob. We cover all possibilities below. We do recommend an Instant Pot simply because they’re a doddle to use and we’re finding more and more uses for it – you can buy the one we use here. Or at least have a look, and start leaving clues around the house or office for loved ones that you need to let off steam, or some such other shite.
to make instant pot split pea and ham soup you will need:
for the stock:
- 800g-1kg ham joint (if using gammon remember to soak it overnight to remove some of the saltiness)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
for the soup:
- 500g dried split peas
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
to make instant pot split pea and ham soup you should:
- this needs to be done in two stages – don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it looks, I promise!
- chuck all of the stock ingredients into the instant pot along with 2.5 litres of cold water. Cook under high pressure for one hour, and then use the natural release method
- Lift the ham out of the pot and strain the rest so you’re left with the liquid – this is the stock you’ll need for the next bit…
- next, add all of the soup ingredients into the instant pot along with 1.5 litres of the stock that you’ve just drained off
- use a couple of forks to pull apart the ham, this won’t take much doing. chuck that in the pot too
- cook for twenty minutes at high pressure, then use the quick-release method to get to it quicker
you can make this without a pressure cooker if you want to:
- place all of the stock ingredients into a large stockpot with two litres of water and simmer for two hours
- lift out the ham joint and strain out all of the solids so you’re left with just the liquid stock
- next, heat a frying pan over a medium high heat with a little oil and cook the carrot, celery and onion from the soup ingredients until softened (which’ll take about five minutes), add the garlic in the last 30 seconds or so
- slow cooker: put the veg into a slow cooker along with the bay leaf, peas and stock and cook on high for 3-4 hours (or low for 6-8). Add the shredded ham about half-way through
- hob: just let everything bubble gently away together, keep an eye on it, until thickened!
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