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Erwtensoep (Dutch Split Pea Soup)

This thick soup is a traditional Dutch recipe. They believe erwtensoep, also called snert, should be thick enough to stand a spoon up in it. Enjoyed throughout the fall and winter, this soup is also served on New Year’s Day in the Netherlands. Pea soups stretch back centuries; the first Dutch recipe appeared in the 1500s. For a thinner version, add more stock. During the 1800s, many Dutch immigrants came to the United States to escape religious persecution and other issues, settling mainly in the Midwest states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa. The soup is a common menu item in restaurants in Dutch-settled regions.

Recipe Servings: 4

Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time
1 hour 45 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 7½ cups water, plus more
  • 1½ cups peas (dried green split)
  • 3½ oz pork belly or thick-cut bacon
  • 1 pork chop
  • 1 bouillon cube (vegetable, pork or chicken)
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2–3 carrots, peeled and slice
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small leek, sliced
  • 1 cup celeriac, cubed
  • 1 lb sausage, chopped (smoked sausage or frankfurters)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Handful chopped celery leaf, for garnish


  1. Place water, split peas, pork belly or bacon, pork chop, and bouillon cube in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and let cook 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming off any fat that rises to surface.
  3. Remove pork chop, debone, and thinly slice. Set aside.
  4. Add celery, carrots, potato, onion, leek, and celeriac.
  5. Return to boil and reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add more water if ingredients start to stick to bottom of pan.
  6. Add smoked sausage for last 15 minutes of cook time. When vegetables are tender remove pork belly or bacon and smoked sausage, slice thinly, and set aside.
  7. If preferred, puree soup with immersion blender or in batches in blender.
  8. Season with salt and pepper. Add meat back to soup but reserve a few slices of sausage.
  9. Serve in heated bowls garnished with slices of sausage and chopped celery leaf.

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