Split Peas and Cabbage Kapusta z Grochem Recipe

Polish Split Peas and Cabbage
Polish Split Peas and Cabbage. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • 90 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Ratings (13)

Split peas and cabbage, or kapusta z grochem (kah-POOSS-tah zih GRROH-hem) in Polish, is a traditional side dish at wigilia, the Christmas Eve dinner also known as the Star Supper.

Fresh shredded cabbage, sauerkraut and a purée of cooked yellow split peas are combined to make this thick, slightly tangy dish.

While wigilia is a meatless meal, this dish, which is as much a starch as a vegetable, also can be served with a garnish of pork cracklings known as skwarki or fried bacon if you're not fasting.

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound dried yellow split peas (rinsed and drained)
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 small head cabbage (shredded)
  • 1-quart sauerkraut (undrained or drained, if desired, reserving some of the kraut juice)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 onion (chopped fine)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound bacon (chopped)

How to Make It

  1. Combine peas and boiling water in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and continue boiling 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let soak 30 minutes.
  3. Bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes, or until cooked down into a purée, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot or Dutch oven, place shredded cabbage, sauerkraut, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 1 hour.
  1. While cabbage is cooking, sauté onion in butter until golden brown but not burned. Set aside.
  2. Add cooked peas to cabbage mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add some kraut juice or vegetable broth if too dry.
  3. Add sautéed onions and mix well. Heat until warm throughout and serve.

Note: Optionally, sauté onion with chopped bacon, omitting the butter, until bacon is cooked through, but not crispy. Add to cabbage with cooked peas.

More Polish Cabbage Dishes

Braised Red Cabbage Recipe This is an easy dish to make especially if you have a food processor. It has the sweet-sour taste Poles love.

Cabbage, Meat and Noodles RecipeThis is a comfort-food casserole of the highest order made with ground pork, cabbage and egg noodles in a sour cream sauce.

Cabbage-Bacon-Potato Casserole RecipeHere's another hearty comfort-food dish that cooks in the oven and sports a cheesy, bubbly topping.

Unstuffed Cabbage RecipeThis take on Polish goląbki takes the drudgery out of stuffing and rolling individual cabbage leaves. Instead, chopped cabbage, meat, and tomatoes get cozy in a casserole that is baked.