This is a good way to use leftover ham, quite inexpensive and very tasty. Some people like to add diced carrots or potatoes. However you tweak this recipe, it will indeed become a warming winter staple.
If you don't want to add a ham hock or bone, you can always use diced ham, or even lardons.
Something else. Absolutely FANTASTIC. I used the Easter ham bone, chopped up a little extra ham, threw it in the slow cooker with half a chopped onion, 500g of dried split peas, 1 litre of chicken broth and a little s&p and ground mustard and walked away. 6 hours later it was the most incredibly rich and flavourful pea soup I've ever tasted. Didn't even soak the peas. Will definitely make again. - 24 Jul 2008
Altered ingredient amounts. I used some ham from a joint I'd boiled, used the water as a "stock" and cooked it in a slow cooker.....lovely!! - 17 Sep 2010
Used different ingredients. I added two ribs of celery and one large carrot sliced thin, a bay leaf, a dash of hot sauce,and a pinch of fines herbes. Good idea to wait on adding any salt until you taste at the end because some ham imparts enough salt. Good soup! We like it with any crusty bread. - 24 Jul 2008