A bowl of erwtensoep with rye bread with bacon

Erwtensoep: traditional Dutch comfort food

Erwtensoep (split pea soup), is a soup every Dutch person craves when the weather turns colder in Autumn. To warm up from the cold and rain, a good bowl of erwtensoep or snert (another Dutch name for split pea soup) is the perfect comfort food. It will warm you up inside and fill you up during the colder and darker months.

This thick and savory soup's origins go back all the way to Greek civilization and the Middle East, however the first Dutch pea soup recipe dates from the 16th century. This traditional Dutch food should be so thick that a wooden spoon can stand up straight in it. Dutch split pea soup is usually prepared at home and a good erwtensoep recipe takes some time in preparation - but it’s worth it.

Erwtensoep is usually either eaten as dinner at home or as lunch at a restaurant. in a restaurant it’s usually served in a bowl with ryebread on the side. The slices of ryebread either have katenspek (raw bacon) or cheese on it. When served as dinner, people will have krentenbollen (currant buns) on the side to make it a full dinner. At festivals or ice skating rinks it’s sold in paper cups - perfect to warm up on a cold day.


  • 300 g split peas
  • 400 g shoulder pork chops
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 sprigs leaf celery
  • 3 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 2 l water
  • 200 g celeriac
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 200 g leek
  • 300 g carrot
  • 5 sprigs parsley
  • 1 smoked sausage (rookworst)
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • salt and pepper


  1. 1
    Add the split peas, pork chops, laurel leaves, half of the leaf celery, the bouillon cubes and water to a large pan/pot. Bring this to a boil. When it’s boiling, turn down the heat and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
  2. 2
    In the meantime peel and chop the celeriac and potatoes. Add these to the soup after 30 minutes.
  3. 3
    Peel and cut the onions. Clean the leek and slice in rings. Peel the carrots and chop them. Slice the smoked sausage. Chop the parsley and the remaining leaf celery.
  4. 4
    After 45 minutes take the pork chops from the soup and chop the meat. Take the laurel and leaf celery out of the soup.
  5. 5
    Fry the onions for 3 minutes in the melted butter. Add this to the soup, together with the leek, carrots, leaf celery, parsley, smoked sausage and pork chops. Cook the soup for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. 6

The above recipe serves four.

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Cosette Karsmakers

Author - Cosette Karsmakers

Cosette is a home chef and food writer, who likes to whip up different dishes each day for her husband and son.

Last Updated 19 October 2022

Multicolor red and yellow tulips flowers blooming in curve shape against Dutch windmills during spring the sunrise


With over 17 million people, the Netherlands is a densely populated country with its capital Amsterdam being just one of its many interesting cities. Once a great naval power, this small nation boasts a wealth of cultural heritage and is famous for its painters, windmills, clogs and notoriously flat lands.