It is autumn

I’m going to be busy over the next few days, and rather than leave an empty page, I’m sharing some of the short stories I’ve written – I have posted them before, but some time ago!

I try to pretend as long as possible that the last fingers of summer are stretching into the last quarter of the year, but it’s no good, I submit, it is autumn. How about this to keep you warm? It’s a favourite recipe from the Dutch province of Groningen – a favourite there and a favourite for me!

Pea Soup

  • 10 oz dried peas and 10 oz split peas washed and soaked overnight
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 small leeks, finely sliced
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and cubed ( the recipe doesn’t give a size, but I would go small!)
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 8 oz ham hock
  • 10 oz smoked bacon – in a lump if possible, not slices
  • smoked sausage
  • fresh herbs – 1 tbsp thyme and 2 bay leaves,
  • ½ bunch parsley, ½ celery leaves – which might be difficult to get over here, so maybe some finely chopped celery would do instead
  • ½ a chilli
  • salt and pepper

peas, beans and veg:

  1. add the carrot, onions, ham, bacon, chilli, herbs, salt and pepper to the peas and beans in their soaking water, bring to the boil then simmer for 2 hours
  2. add the potatoes, leeks and celeriac


  1. warm the sausage on a low heat for 15 mins, remove from water and slice
  2. take the ham hock and bacon out of the stew – take the meat from the bone and cut in cubes (if your family is squeamish, cut the fat off the bacon and ham)


  1. remove the chilli and bay leaves and return the cubed and sliced meat to the soup, check for seasoning
  2. add the chopped parsley and celery leaves/celery

This is the recipe – but it is enough for the largest of families or a Guy Fawkes Night party! There is nearly 3 lbs of ingredients plus all the liquid and vegetables – I think I would halve it, or for just our little family quarter it!

Bon appétit!


      1. Rosie Scribblah

        I put the hock, split peas, a bay leaf and finely chopped onion into a slow cooker, covered in water. 8 hours or so later I strip off the skin and bones and put half the meat back into the soup, the rest of the meat makes ham hock and mature cheddar sandwiches for lunch. Delicious and ridiculously thrifty.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lois

        I bought one last week, but I think I had it in a too large pan as it wasn’t as tasty as I hoped. The liquor was very bland too, despite all the extras i added. We used the ham in all sorts, and ended up with the remains in sandwiches!

        Liked by 1 person

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