Total Time
Prep 2 hrs
Cook 2 hrs

Pea soup is very traditional in Northern Europe. This is a Swiss version. They would use a ham called jambon de la borne, or hook ham, as it is hooked up in the huge cheese chalet chimney where people make cheese on wooden fires in the Alps. Most of us will have to do with a good smoked ham bone. The recipe was adapted liberally from

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 lb yellow split peas
  • 1 ham bone, smoked with some meat on it
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 10 waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 onions, one left whole, the other finely diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • one bunch herbs (such as a mix of parsley, sage, thyme, oregano, celery leaves and savory)
  • salt & fresh ground pepper


  1. Soak the peas in water for at least 90 minutes, or overnight. Change the water a few times.
  2. Take the whole onion and nail the bay leaves into it with the whole cloves.
  3. Add the oil to a soup pot. When hot, add the diced onion and chopped leek and saute until they're soft. Add the chopped carrots, potatoes and celeriac and continue to saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add water until the vegetables are just covered.
  5. Rinse the peas an additional time and add to the pot with the vegetables. Add the whole studded onion and the ham bone. Wrap the herbs and tie with kitchen twine, and add it to the pot as well (leaving a little string to pull it out easily).
  6. Add more water to cover and cook over medium (not hot) heat,slowly, until it boils. Remove the skim as needed as it comes to a boil.
  7. When boiling, lower heat to a simmer, and cook at least two hours uncovered.
  8. Remove the tied herb bunch, the whole studded onion and the ham bone.
  9. Using a stick blender, puree the soup until well blended.
  10. Taste before salting, as the ham is pretty salty. Top with cracked pepper, and any ham bits that were cut from the removed bone.
Most Helpful

I made a slight change to this, I grated all the vegetables and didn't bother to blend it (because my blender broke down) It was still very tasty and a bit more chunky. It tasted better the next day. Thanks for posting PanNan. Made for ZWT7.

Sri S. June 16, 2011

I made as written, except for cutting the potatoes down to 4 large Yukon Golds. I think I would cut that down to 2 next time, as this seemed more like potato soup instead of pea soup, and was too thick. I would also eliminate the step using the whole onion, and just chop it and add to the mix, and add the bay leaves and cloves. Seemed like a waste of an onion. This soup was very tasty, though, and I had never used yellow split peas before. They seemed a little lighter in flavor than green. Made for ZWT 7.

Outta Here June 15, 2011

We enjoyed this thick and tasty soup PanNan. It had so much flavor and was easy to make. We really enjoyed the texture of the soup. I did cut down the number of potatoes after reading the reviews to 5 small and kept everything else the same, stirring in leftover ham from off the bone at the end of cooking. Thank you for sharing a recipe that I will be making again. Dh already asked me when are we having ham again and not to forget to make this recipe. High praise indeed, thank you. Made for the Witchin Kitchen ZWT7.

Baby Kato June 29, 2011