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  • Writer's pictureDavid

Sort of Snert - Dutch Pea Soup

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Snert - or Erwtensoep: Dutch pea soup you can stand a spoon in.

Every country has a version of pea soup: something thick and warming based on dried legumes or pulses. I became addicted to Snert in the Netherlands. When the winter is deep and the ice is thick, what better way to warm up after a walk along the canals? Or, as is the way, after a bit of skating on a frozen canal?

It's "Sort of Snert" because, where I'm using pork belly, [one of the many] traditional recipes use pork chops with the bones; these are removed later in the process, boned and shredded then popped back in. Rookworst is the sausage, but it just means smoked sausage, so I stand by that!



300g dried split peas




pork belly - properly it's a pork chop with the bone in; I had pork belly



celeriac (about a quarter of an average one)

smoked sausage


Watch the video


  • Trim and wash the carrots, and peel the celeriac & potato

  • Cut them into roughly 1cm chunks - you don't need to be precise; there isn't a test.

  • Wash and slice the leek & onion

  • Cut the pork belly into chunks - if you're using pork chops, put them in whole; you'll bone them and cut them up later

  • Rinse the peas in cold water - you don't need to soak them overnight, but if you do, it cuts your cooking time down. However, I like the longer cooking time - more flavour

  • Peas, pork & bacon in a pot and add about 2.5L cold water

  • Bring it to the boil

  • You'll need to skim the scum - that's the bit the kids always fight over: scum-skimming

  • Simmer for about 10 minutes, then add all the veg

  • Add salt & pepper, cover and cook for 4 hours. 2 hours if you've soaked the peas, but you're making a mistake...

  • Check and stir every so often to stop it sticking

  • At the end add the smoked sausage. It's at this point you would take out the chop, bone it, cut it up and add the meat back in

  • It's ready when you can stand a spoon in it

  • Enjoy with dark rye bread (with bacon on it). I made a dense wholemeal loaf - tasty.

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