Erwtensoep - Dutch Pea Soup

Total Time
Prep 12 hrs
Cook 3 hrs

This soup is not a starter but a substantial meal, our favorite winter soup!! When cold the soup should be thick enough to slice, if not you did not make a good pea soup, (that is what my mother always told me!) Traditionally served with pumpernickel bread. Freezes well. I use 2 1/2 cups of split peas and find that thick enough, but for the true thick Dutch version you should use 3 1/2 cups. After a discussion with other Zaar members I like to add this: If you like, add some chopped carrots to the soup and you can make the soup without having to soak the split peas overnight.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 12 cups dried split green peas or 1 12 lbs dried split green peas
  • 3 liters water
  • 1 lb spareribs
  • 12 lb bacon, one thick slice, cubed
  • 2 leeks, washed and chopped, also use the green part
  • 1 medium celeriac, diced (celery root or bulb) or 3 cups of chopped celery (but the flavor will be weaker)
  • 1 smoked dutch sausage or 3 -4 thick frankfurters, left whole or cut up in slices
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 -2 bouillon cube (optional)
  • chopped celery leaves
  • fresh parsley leaves


  1. Wash the peas and soak them overnight in the amount of water given. Next day bring them to the boil together with the spareribs and the bacon; simmer on very low heat for approx 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the leeks and the celeriac; cook for another hour or until the soup becomes thick - with the lid off. Lift out the spareribs, remove the meat from the bones, and return the meat to the pan.
  2. Add the sausage, let it warm through and season the soup to taste and maybe add bouillion cube(s) , add the chopped celery leaves and parsley just before serving.


Most Helpful

This soup is delicious. However, it did not thicken up real well for me and I had to use a little cornstarch to help it thicken some but that was my fault because I know that I used too much water. I made more than 4 servings and it made ALOT. I am going to have to freeze some. The soup is so wonderful and filling and all of the different meats in it is so good. Outstanding recipe. I will be making this again. Thank you very much.

Gingerbear November 17, 2002

10 Stars Pets ! Erwtensoep was never a favourite of DH's ( shame on him, a born and bred Dutchman LOL !!! ) but I adore the stuff and usually eat it alone. THEN, SiL got celeriac in her to-the-door organic box delivery and she hates the stuff so other SiL and I went half each and I went in search of a pea soup that would contain celeriac. Yours of course does, so is a REAL Dutch born and bred authentic version and I must say,... when DH tasted this and muttered that he might grow to actually LIKE erwtensoep every now and agin if it was make like THIS, then I knew that this was a winner indeed. Since I only had half of a celeriac, I also added celery .. heck the more the merrier, the taste of both is excellent. The spareribs touch is devine as I like this soup meaty but not too fatty. to this end I used a leaner bacon and plenty of it, and added a heap of Rookworst, again the more the better in my estimation. The end result is a super thick soup that you can not only cut with a knife when it's cold (true test of excellent Dutch Pea Soup tradition) but that will stack up very nicely indeed in your freezer. This is no wimp of a boullion soup, it's full and hearty and so substantial that it will keep you going on the coldest of days. Please see my rating system: 5 excellent stars for a recipes that uses celeriac AND convinced DH that Erwtensoep was actually pretty brilliant after all. Thanks !!!

kiwidutch February 19, 2008

Quick tip: grate a potato into the soup in the last half hour of cooking. Helps to remove any scum from the split peas and pork, and helps to thicken it. Trick from my Dutch mother.

Missy Wombat December 26, 2002

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