This splitpea soup is a typical Dutch dish, which we only make in winter. It is a hearty, thick and very filling soup, full of veggies. We love it!
Whenever I think of splitpea soup, I think of the winters when I was a child. Back then winters were still cold and long, so much so that the big pond in the park near my home froze over. On those sunny but freezing days we would go ice skating or sledding.
When we got too cold we’d go back home to warm up with a hot chocolate, which my mother had made. We drank the hot chocolate and she made the splitpea soup with the traditional accompaniment- Dutch pancakes.
First the hot chocolate, than the splitpea soup and than the Dutch pancakes (a thick and substantial pancake somewhere in between French crepes and the American ones) We couldn’t wait! I loved those days.
Every Dutch household has their own version of splitpea soup, but of course my mothers was the best. I have made her recipe my own by adding some more veggies to it.
When I make this dish, I always make a double batch so I can freeze what is left over and save that for another day. But the recipe below is for one batch of this soup. This is enough for 4 to 5 people when you eat the soup as your main dish. When you make pancakes to go with it, it should serve 8 to 10 people.
Lets get in the kitchen and show you how I make this dish!
- Big pot
- Small pot
- frying pan
- Cutting board
- Blender or immersion blender
- Colander or sieve
- 500 grams splitpeas
- 4 bay leaves
- 2-3 potatoes (that hold their shape after cooking)
- 1 big leek
- ½ celeriac
- 2-3 carrots
- 1 small head of broccoli (about 250 grams)
- 200 grams smoked bacon cubes (Spec)
- salt to taste (Start with ¼ Tspn)
- parsley (Optional)
- chives (Optional)
- Start by rinsing the splitpeas until the water runs almost clear. Put the splitpeas into a big pot with 2 litres of water and 4 bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
- When it starts boiling, turn the heat down to the lowest setting so that the splitpeas simmer very gently and don't burn. Stir every 10 minutes or so, scraping the base of the pot as well.
- Scoop off the foam that forms on the top with the skimmer.
- Meanwhile, cut the skin of the celeriac and chop the leek, carrots, potatoes and celeriac into cubes/rings of around 1-1.5cm thick and set aside.
- Cook the broccoli in another pot until they are done. Drain and blend them with as little water as possible into a smooth puree and set aside.
- When the splitpeas are starting to break down, after about 45 minutes of cooking, add in the chopped vegetables.
- Cook for another 40-50 minutes or so, stirring and scraping the base of the pot every few minutes to make sure the splitpeas do not burn. This is very important to keep a close eye on.
- Meanwhile, cook the smoked bacon cubes into a frying pan until the fat has rendered.
- The splitpeas should have broken down completely by this time. Now you can remove the bay leaves, add in the broccoli puree and the bacon cubes including the fat. Yes, the fat as well because this will add a lot of flavour.
- Now add the salt, stir well and taste. Add in more salt if you wish and serve with some parsley and/or chives sprinkled on top. Enjoy!
- If the splitpeas catch and brown a little on the base of the pot there is no harm done. This is completely fine. Scrape the base as best you can and go on.
But if it is burned black, than, unfortunately, you have to throw away everything and begin again as the burned flavour will ruin everything.
- You can not make this dish using fresh or frozen green peas. It will not work out well.
You probably can get away with using lentils, but the taste will be different.
- When the splitpea soup cools down it will thicken up even more. This is normal, and should happen. If the soup has completely cooled down you should be able to stick a spoon in it and it will stand up on its own.
When you start warming it up it will loosen up again, so don’t worry. If you still think it is too thick after you have warmed it up, you can add some water. Just remember, this soup is traditionally eaten at a thick, almost puree-like, consistency.
- If you don’t know what to do with the left over celeriac; just cut off the skin, slice it up and use it in another soup you like. Or bake it with some olive oil and salt in the oven at 240 degrees celsius, until it is soft. Yum!