lauredhel: cut freshly-baked bread (bread)
[personal profile] lauredhel posting in [community profile] cookability
Now that the weather is starting to cool down, my thoughts turn to soup! And bread!

This is a really hearty crockpot soup, with ham, ham stock, split peas, barley, and vegetables. It is yummy the next day, and freezes beautifully.

Accessibility notes: The vegie prep takes energy if you can't access pre-sliced vegies, but could be done in advance (e.g. the night before), or using a food processor. The frying-off of the vegies isn't essential; it does improve the flavour, but if you need to the raw vegies can just be thrown into the crockpot. Homemade stock or bought stock are both fine.

With full modifications (pre-sliced veg & bought stock), the only washing-up is your crockpot and spoon, and standing/stirring time is very minimal. If you do the whole lot yourself, you've also got your knife and cutting board, a frying-pan and stirring implement, your stock bowl, and the crock you cooked the stock in.

Substitutions: You can substitute pretty much anything. Leave out the vegies, use different ones, use a different meat or vegetarian stock. Soup is very forgiving.



Here's my no-knead ciabatta proving away:

ciabattaproving


The soup all starts with the usual basics:

two purple shallots, sliced

shallots

and the shallots are fried off with a sliced leek:

leeks and shallots frying in a pan

a couple of carrots

two carrots, one whole, one diced

and half a thingummy of celery

celery stems on a cutting board

fried off together in a pan. I don't bother with a fancy fine-diced soffritto, I just chop 'em rough.

celery and carrots frying

All those veges are then added to my base, which is yellow split peas and barley. These have been in a little water in the slow cooker for several hours already, softening up and starting to cook. I know many people would make this as a straight split pea based soup, but I prefer a barley-dominant base, around a cup of barley to half a cup of split peas. Adjust the ratio to taste!

split peas and barley in a little water in a crockpot


Two nights ago, I threw a smoked ham hock into water in the stock pot, added a few bay leaves and mountain pepper seeds, and left it all on High for 18 hours or so. The resulting liquid was put into the fridge overnight, and this morning, after scraping the separated fat off the top:

HAMJELLY!

(video: five seconds of jellied ham stock wobbling.)



Here's the reserved ham, deboned and deskinned. It will go into the soup near the end.

ham bits in a plastic container


But I am left with these beautiful leek tops! I take off a few outer layers for washing...

lovely green leek tops

....then stow the lot in a freezer bag with the celery tops, and freeze for the next time I want to make stock.

celery tops and leek tops in a freezer bag

The veges and ham stock have now been added to my peas 'n' barley base. I give it a bit of a stir:

crockpot of soup, being stirred with a bamboo spoon

I have now set the crockpot to High, and I plan to ignore this for 6 or so hours.

This soup post has been brought to you by a jar of homegrown feijoa jam!

feijoa jam in a jar

And updating with bread pics:

Bread into the oven...

raw ciabatta bread on baking paper on a pizza stone, in the oven, about to bake

And done!

Cooked ciabatta loaf on a wire rack, with a deep golden brown crust and dusted with flour
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