16 January 2014

Food in Dutch: Erwtensoep (Dutch Pea Soup)

I promise that I didn't forget about my Food in Dutch series, it just got put on hold a bit with traveling and Christmas. And now it's back with another installment!

What You Should Know About Erwtensoep:

Erwtensoep (err-tuhn-soop) is a pea soup that may also be called snert. It is a winter dish in the Netherlands - the thick soup with hearty winter vegetables are a great way to warm up - and it is prepared differently than Scandinavian, German, or English/American versions of pea soup. Depending on the recipe, only a few vegetables are used, but all tend to call for long-lasting winter vegetables, such as onions or carrots. It's excellent served along with a crusty bread and followed up by something sweet for dessert.

The Life in Dutch Recipe:

500 g/1 lb mix of chopped vegetables: leek (prei), onion (ui), carrot (wortel), and celery (selderie) - I cheated and purchased a pre-cut, pre-mixed bag at the supermarket.
2 medium potatoes (aardappelen) chopped
250 g/2.5-ish cups dried split peas (spliterwten)
1.5 L beef stock
1 smoked sausage (rookworst) sliced into discs- specifically, a rookworst is used, but will be difficult to find elsewhere
250 g/0.5 lb shoulder ham (schouderham)
2 bay leaves (laurierbladen)

The Life in Dutch Method:

I've got to be honest off the bat, here. I did not bring my A game when preparing this meal. I didn't even bring my B game. I missed a rather important step, and Little Man was still adjusting to being in school full time, so the process did not go as well as it could have. And, I cheated and used a pre-bagged bunch of veggies to shorten my prep time.


But, even considering that, it came out flavorful and edible, and that's what really counts in the end.

First, allow the split peas to simmer in the beef stock for about an hour. (I didn't do this, mine cooked for 20 minutes, which required some extra "wait time" at the end when everything else was already cooked.)

Add your potatoes and and bay leaves and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add your vegetables and shoulder ham and cook through (approx. 10-15 minutes). (I had a brain cramp at the store and forgot to buy shoulder ham, but the soup was still tasty without it.) Your soup should start to thicken.

I accidentally added everything but the rookworst at the same time,
so my simmering method changed as I went along.

Add your rookworst to the soup, and allow to warm through.

How you can find your rookworst.

Rookworst added!

Serve with crusty bread.

Soup! I know the orange bowl isn't too flattering to the soup here,
but that's the best I can do as far as presentation...

The Result:

The process here is mostly simple, but you do still need to pay attention in case you forget to cook the peas correctly. The dish is a perfect cold-weather food that can be eaten right away, or frozen and stored for later.

Eet smakelijk!


  1. Mickey@EuroAmerican Home17 January, 2014 01:08

    I think I'll try this recipe this winter, although I'm not sure how healthy the smoked sausages are. Is there any substitute that would keep the same taste?

    I'm pinning anyway. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Love this! I use Kayotic Kitchen's recipe, which is super easy (although I typically skip the ribs part, since I'm too lazy to go to a separate butcher). The celeriac root, rather than plain celery, really makes it. http://www.kayotic.nl/blog/dutch-split-pea-soup

  3. This looks like a great winter soup recipe. Although this looks really good, the only pea soup I ever crave is from the kitschy & famous Pea Soup Andersen's in California.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Mickey! I think a leaner type of smoked sausage would give a similar taste, or perhaps adding in some smoked shoulder. I haven't done it, but potentially smoking one of the vegetables could give a good flavor to the soup as well.

  5. I haven't thought of using the root. That sounds like a great flavor enhancement. Thanks for the tip - I'll have to check out that recipe!

  6. I enjoy it - though I'll admit to being partial to my mom's Scandinavian version. Where I've been in CA has always been too warm to want soup ;)

  7. What a hearty dish. It's very similar to many of the winter soups we've been enjoying. And who cares if you never chopped up the veggies... it still counts :)

  8. I call it "cooking smarter, not harder" =)
    We like soup in winter time, too. And it's always better with crusty bread and a thick smear of butter.


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