UPDATE 4/2/ 2015: Had almost all the ingredients this time (minus the leek)...and it was awesome!! I did not soak the peas overnight. I fried the bacon until crisp and tore into pieces, and I sauteed the onion. Put a very meaty ham bone, bacon, peas, sauteed onion, chicken stock and water into the crock on high for the first hour; then turned to low. After 5 hours, I took out the ham bone, removed the meat and added meat back in...also put in the potatoes, carrots, garlic and celery at this time. After another two hours, I added all of the spices, sausage slices and 1 cup water. It was perfectly done in a total of 10 hours cooking. Lots of left overs for the freezer with only two of us...but the husband wants it for dinner again tomorrow night! ORIGINAL: This soup had a very pleasant flavor...even though I didn't have all the right ingredients. I had a VERY meaty ham bone in place of the ham hock, no bacon, no leek and no sausage. But I followed the recipe with everything else. The peas were soaked overnight prior to putting them into the slow cooker. The ham bone was cooked for the first 6 hours after which time I took it out and let it cool to remove the meat...adding the meat back into the cooker. At the very end, I used my immersible blender and gave it a few swirls to thicken the soup up a bit. I never had to add any additional liquid. Served with home made corn bread, and it made a delicious winter meal. I hope to have sausage on hand next time! Thanks for sharing!
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UPDATE 4/2/ 2015: Had almost all the ingredients this time (minus the leek)...and it was...