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Dutch pea soup – Erwtensoup

Pea Soup

This is my neighbour’s recipe which makes a thick, hearty pea soup, and that’s how it should be. In fact, the Dutch believe that Erwtensoep (also known as snert) should be so thick that you can stand a spoon upright in it.

It is made with split peas, plenty of vegetables and pork, this delicious Dutch pea soup is traditionally served in wintertime and on New Year’s Day. Still, it is also enjoyed throughout the fall and winter months.

If you prefer the soup slightly thinner soup, simply add more stock. It’s customary to serve pea soup with slices of rookworst (smoked sausage) and rye bread topped with katenspek (a type of Dutch bacon that is first cooked, then smoked).



2 litres Water
500 g Dried green split peas (soak peas in plenty of water the night prior)
200 g Pork Belly
1 Pork chop
1 Bouillon cube
1 small Leek (sliced)
½ Celeriac (cubed)
2 Onions (small cubes)
2 Carrots (peeled and cubed)
1 piece Garlic (mashed)
2-3 medium Potatoes (cubed)
1 pound Sausage (sliced Rookworst smoked sausage or smoked soft Metwurst or Frankfurter/Wiener sausages)
2 Laurel leafes
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish handful chopped parsley leaf



  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. In a large soup pot, bring water, rinsed split peas (soaked the night prior), pork belly, pork chop, and bouillon cube to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and let cook for approx.. 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming off any foam that rises to the top.
  3. Remove the pork chop, debone, and thinly slice the meat. Set aside.
  4. Add the carrots, potato, onion, leek, celeriac, garlic and laurel leaves to the soup. Return to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook, uncovered, for another 20-30 minutes, adding a little extra water if the ingredients start to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add the smoked sausage for the last 15 minutes of cooking time. When the vegetables are tender, remove the bacon and smoked sausage, slice and set aside.
  6. If you prefer a smooth consistency, puree the soup with a stick blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the meat back to the soup, setting some slices of rookworst aside.
  7. Serve in heated bowls or soup plates, garnished with slices of rookworst and chopped parsley leaf.


Enjoy – Eet smakelijk!