Ingredients

175 g (6 oz) dried green split peas, soaked overnight in cold water
2 onions, chopped
2 celery sticks, diced
1 carrot, diced
1.5 litres (2½ pints) water
3 teaspoons English mustard
1 bay leaf
500 g (1 lb) unsmoked boneless bacon joint
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Instructions

1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary.
2.Drain the peas and add to a large saucepan with the onions, celery, carrot and measurement water.
3.Bring to the boil, skim off any scum that rises to the surface and boil for 10 minutes.
4.Pour the mixture into the slow cooker pot, then stir in the mustard, bay leaf and some pepper
5.Rinse the bacon joint in several changes of cold water, then add to the pot and press below the surface of the liquid.
6.Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or until the peas are soft and the bacon cooked through and tender.
7.Lift the bacon joint out of the slow cooker pot with a carving fork, drain well, then cut away the rind and fat.
8.Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
9.Purée the soup with a stick blender or leave chunky, if preferred.
10.Stir the bacon back into the pot and mix in the parsley,
11.Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt, if needed.
12.Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with crusty bread, if liked.
13.FOR SPLIT PEA & PARSNIP SOUP, soak 175 g (6 oz) dried yellow split peas as above.
14.Drain and put into a saucepan with 1 chopped onion, 300 g (10 oz) diced parsnips and 1.5 litres (2½ pints) chicken or vegetable stock.
15.Boil for 10 minutes, then transfer to the slow cooker pot.
16.Cover and cook as above.
17.Purée and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
18.Beat 75 g (3 oz) butter with 2 finely chopped garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons chopped coriander and 1 teaspoon each roughly crushed cumin seeds and coriander seeds.
19.Ladle the soup into bowls and top with spoonfuls of the butter. 15:05

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