Dutch Split Pea Soup

a bowl of Dutch Split Pea Soup

This Dutch Split Pea Soup is a hearty and comforting dish, perfect for a cold day. Made with split peas, pork chops, leeks, carrots, potatoes, and smoked sausage. The rich and savory flavors of this soup make it a perfect meal to warm you up during the colder months.

Soups have been a staple in many cultures for centuries, offering a comforting and filling meal that can be easily adapted to suit different tastes and dietary needs. This Dutch Split Pea Soup is a classic example of a hearty and nutritious soup that is both satisfying and delicious.


  • 2.5 cups split peas
  • 2 pork chops
  • 3 leeks
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 4-6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 smoked sausage
  • Method

    • 1. Start by melting a couple tablespoons of butter in the soup pot. Once the butter has melted, add the pork chops and brown them slightly.

    • 2. Pour 4 cups of the broth into the pot with the meat and bring it to a boil. Skim off the foam that forms on the surface. Rinse the split peas under running water in a colander and then add them to the skimmed broth.

    • 3. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and an additional 4 cups of water. Bring the mixture back to a boil. If the soup becomes too thick, you can add more broth if necessary.

    • 4. Wash all the vegetables, clean them, and cut them into small pieces. Once everything is cut, add all the vegetables to the broth, reduce the heat, and let the soup simmer for one and a half to two hours.

    • 5. Remove the pork chops from the soup and let them cool slightly. First, remove all the bones from the meat, then cut the meat into small pieces and return it to the soup.

    • 6. Cut the pork chops into small pieces and fry them in a frying pan until they are crispy. Then add the pieces of pork chop back to the soup.

    • 7. Remove the bay leaves from the soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Cut the smoked sausage into pieces and add them to the soup a quarter of an hour before you serve the soup.

    • 8. If you plan to freeze part of the soup, heat the smoked sausage in hot water in a separate pan for a quarter of an hour and add it to the soup bowls or dishes just before serving.

    The Art of Split Pea Soup

    Dutch Split Pea Soup is a classic dish that has been cherished across generations and cultures. The robust flavors of the split peas, simmered slowly to perfection, meld beautifully with the savory pork and vegetables, creating a symphony of textures and tastes that is both comforting and satisfying. This dish is not just a treat for the taste buds, but it's also a nutritional powerhouse, brimming with vitamins, minerals, and fiber from the peas and vegetables used.

    Known as 'Erwtensoep' in the Netherlands, this recipe holds a special place in Dutch culinary history. This hearty soup, thick with split peas and brimming with vegetables and pork, is more than just a dish—it's a symbol of Dutch heritage and a testament to the country's pragmatic and comforting culinary style.

    The use of split peas in cooking is a practice that dates back thousands of years. Archaeological evidence suggests that these humble legumes were a staple in the diets of ancient civilizations in the Middle East and Asia, where they were cultivated as early as 7,000 to 6,000 BC. Over the centuries, the cultivation of peas spread across Europe and other parts of the world, with each culture incorporating them into their unique cuisines.

    In the Netherlands, split peas found a special place in the national cuisine. The Dutch climate, characterized by its cool, damp winters, made hearty, warming dishes a necessity. Split peas, with their high protein content and ability to be stored for long periods, were an ideal ingredient. They could be cooked down into a thick, nutritious soup that provided a much-needed source of sustenance during the harsh winter months.

    Dutch Split Pea Soup, or Erwtensoep, is traditionally made with green split peas, pork, celery, onions, leeks, carrots, and potatoes. It's often served with slices of rookworst, a type of Dutch smoked sausage, and rye bread for a complete meal. The soup is so thick that some say a spoon should be able to stand upright in it.

    Over time, this soup has become synonymous with Dutch comfort food. It's commonly served during the winter, particularly on New Year's Day, and is a popular dish during the skating season, where it's enjoyed in outdoor cafes and food stalls along the skating routes.

    The enduring popularity of Dutch Split Pea Soup speaks to the timeless appeal of simple, hearty fare. Despite changes in culinary trends and dietary habits, this traditional soup remains a beloved dish in the Netherlands and among Dutch communities worldwide. It's a testament to the enduring appeal of split peas and a nod to the rich culinary history of the Dutch people.

    This recipe for Dutch Split Pea Soup brings the art of cooking into your kitchen. Remember, the beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity and versatility. It's perfect for dinner or as a meal prep, and the savory flavors are sure to be a hit at your next meal.