I don’t think there’s a more Dutch dish than the traditional winter Split Pea Soup, also known as “Erwtensoep” or “Snert.” Interestingly, I’ve only been eating split pea soup for about a year now. Before that, I was quite against it, mainly because of how it looked. But I finally decided to give it a try. What had I been missing out on? Turns out, quite a lot! I found it to be delicious. So, I decided to make it myself, searching online and through my extensive collection of cookbooks (I have quite a few). To my surprise, there are so many variations that I got overwhelmed by the recipes and couldn’t figure out which one was good and which one wasn’t.
The recipe below is actually quite simple and can be made either in a regular pot on the stovetop or in a Dutch Oven. After all, we true Dutch folks don’t mind having a nice fire in the winter with a pot over it, right? Enjoy it this winter, folks, maybe even more than usual!
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of celery leaves (bladselderij)
1 piece of celeriac
350 grams of split peas
1 beef bouillon cube or 1 liter of beef broth
500 grams of diced bacon
275 grams of smoked sausage
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
1.25 liters of water
- Wash the vegetables and herbs thoroughly before using them.
- Place the split peas in a colander and rinse them under cold running water. You can also soak them for an hour if you prefer.
- In a large pot, combine the water, diced bacon, split peas, a bouillon cube, and a bay leaf. Bring them to a boil.
- Skim off any foam that forms on the surface and let it simmer gently with the lid on for about 30 minutes. Occasionally, remove the lid to skim off any foam that may accumulate.
- Peel the carrot using a peeler or a knife. Cut it into quarters lengthwise and then into pieces or cubes of about 1cm.
- Clean the celeriac thoroughly and then cut it into small cubes of about 1cm as well.
- Wash the leek and slice it into thin half-rings.
- Clean the onion and finely chop it into small pieces, also about 1cm in size.
- Add all the vegetables to the soup and let them simmer gently for an additional 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Slice the smoked sausage and cut the celery leaves into strips. Add both to the soup and let them cook for another 1 minute.
- Optionally, season with salt and pepper to taste at the end. Remove the bay leaf and serve the soup.