Traditional Dutch Split Pea Soup Recipe -- Snert

Traditional Dutch Split Pea Soup
A bowl of snert. Photo © Karin Engelbrecht
    105 min
Ratings (16)

Made with split peas, plenty of vegetables and pork, this delicious Dutch pea soup is traditionally served on New Year's Day in the Netherlands, but is also enjoyed throughout the fall and winter months. This old family recipe, passed on to us from our friend Het, makes a thick, hearty pea soup, but 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. However, if you prefer a slightly thinner soup, simply add some more stock. It's customary to serve this hearty winter soup with slices of rookworst (smoked sausage) and rye bread topped with katenspek (a type of Dutch bacon that is first cooked, then smoked).

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 cups (10.5 oz/300 g) dried green split peas 
  • 3 1/2 oz (100 g) Dutch speklapjes (fresh sliced pork belly), or thick-cut bacon
  • 1 pork chop 
  • 1 stock cube (vegetable, pork or chicken)
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2-3 carrots, sliced 
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small leek, sliced 
  • 1/4 celeriac, cubed 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • To serve: a handful of chopped celery leaf and rookworst (see Tips) a Dutch smoked sausage) or smoked soft metwurst or frankfurter/wiener sausages

How to Make It

Bring 3 3/4 pints water (1.75 l) to the boil in a large soup pot, along with the split peas, stock cube, pork chop and bacon. Put the lid on the pot and leave to boil softly for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally (it may catch if you don't). Skim off any froth forming on top. 

Take the pork chop out with a pair of tongs, debone and thinly slice the meat. Set aside. Add the vegetables to the boiling broth and leave to cook for another 30 minutes, adding a little extra water every time the soup starts to catch. Add the smoked sausage for the last 15 minutes. When the vegetables are tender, remove the bacon and smoked sausage with the tongs, slice thinly and set aside.

Meanwhile, if you prefer a smooth consistency, puree the soup with a stick blender. Season to taste. Add the meat back to the soup, setting some slices of rookworst aside. Serve in bowls or soup plates, garnished with slices of rookworst and chopped celery leaf.

Tips:

  • If you can't find rookworst where you live, order it online or use smoked kielbasa, smoked soft metwurst. frankfurter or wiener sausages instead.
  • Celery leaf is sold as a herb in Dutch supermarkets, but you can easily substitute the tender green leaves in the center of a regular bunch of celery instead.