A savoury delight, this thick and hearty Snert Dutch Split Pea Soup (Erwtensoep) is just like a warm hug from Grandma on a cold winter’s day. And! This bowl of smoky goodness tastes just as good as its name. We swear!
Can we all just bask in the glory of that name for a second, before I pull out its other Dutch name?
ERWTENSOEP. (Pronounced: Air-ten-soup)
Oh god how we love these names! They’re almost as good as the dish itself.
But no matter what you call this Dutch Split Pea Soup, we’re sure you’re going to love it.
This hearty, smoky, savoury stew features green split peas simmered down with pork, carrots, potato, onion, leeks and celeriac (which we only just learned is the root ball from a type of celery, don’t judge).
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Now, we wandered the Netherlands in summer last year, so how did we come across this beloved winter soup?
Well the story involves and epic feast and copious amounts of rice wine in the mountains of Vietnam.
You know. As you do.
Our soon-to-be-friends Mascha & Gerard from the Netherlands arrived at our Dalat guesthouse just after we did, and were greeted with the same enthusiastic hospitality.
You see, our host would NOT take no for an answer…
So the four of us travellers found ourselves on tiny stools on the roadside, sipping cup after cup of rice wine and nibbling from plate after plate of local Vietnamese specialities.
Between endless calls of ‘Mot Hai Ba Yo!’ (Vietnamese for ‘Cheers’, literally ‘One, Two, Three, Yo!’) there were bowls of noodles, dishes of sticky fried pork, Vietnamese fried spring rolls and crispy banh xeo pancakes.
Merry, full, and thoroughly tipsy (at lunchtime, I might add), conversation soon turned to the food of our homelands, comparing all the the things we all loved from Dutch and Australian cuisines.
Big thanks to Mascha and Gerard for sharing their favourite recipe for their beloved national Dutch dish, which we’ve changed up just a little bit to make use of some locally available ingredients.
Snert Dutch Split Pea Soup (Erwtensoep)
If you’re lucky enough to head down to the frozen canals, ponds or lakes of the Netherlands for a spot of ice skating, you can warm yourself up afterwards with a bowl of piping hot snert, dished up as a savoury street snack from ‘koek en zopie’ outlets.
Snert Dutch Split Pea Soup it may be called, but the final dish has more of a stew-like consistency. The key is to make it so thick a spoon can stand upright in it.
Ours stood up to the test too, check it out.
Snert Dutch Split Pea Soup not your style? Try our other favourite soups, including these two little beauties: Albanian Jani Me Fasule (White Bean Soup) and Slovenian Ricet (Sausage & Vegetable Barley Soup).
- 2 cups green split peas
- 2 bacon bones smoked
- 2 middle rashers bacon diced
- 2.25 ltr 9 cups cold water
- 1 onion whole, stuffed with 10 cloves
- 2 leeks chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- ½ celeriac peeled, diced into 1 cm pieces
- 1 pork chop
- 2 tsp beef stock
- Black pepper
- Start with a big pot because you’re gonna need it! 😉
- Pour those green split peas straight into the empty pot, then throw the bacon bones, bacon pieces, pork chop, pepper, beef stock, and clove-studded onion straight on top. Pour in the water and crank up the stove to a medium high heat.
- Bring to a boil then simmer that snerty deliciousness for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and scooping off any broth foam that appears.
- Now, fish out the pork chop and slice all the meat off the bones - we’ll be adding the meat back in later.
- Throw in your piles of chopped veggies and give everything a really good stir. Cook everything over a medium heat for 30 minutes until soft and delicious. Stir occasionally to avoid vegetables sticking to the bottom.
- At the 15 minutes-to-go mark take out the bacon bones and the clove-studded onion. Leave all the bones out, but you can pop the onion back in after pulling out the cloves and chopping it into pieces.
- Now you’ve got a big choice friends. To blend or not to blend? Follow your heart and grab out that stab blender, or run the soup through a blender or food processor in batches til you’re happy with the consistency. Or leave it chunky! We’ll never judge.
- After that, you can pop in the chopped meat and you're good to go.
- Your final soup/stew should be thick enough for a spoon to stand upright. Mission accomplished?