Snert, snert, snnneerrrtt. The more you say it, the less likely you are to want to eat it. But trust me, although this short little word may sound inedible, its namesake is certainly not!

Snert (also know as Erwtensoep), is in fact, the Dutch word for traditional pea soup. This classic Dutch winter staple is a hearty meal in itself. There are endless variations on this dish and family recipes all tend to differ slightly. Some say the only true rule of thumb is to ensure 500g of split peas per litre of water. Others claim the soup is only a success if a spoon can stand fully upright on its own. One thing is for sure, you’ll rarely find a Dutchie who doesn’t have an opinion on what it really takes to make the perfect bowl.

Do you have your own winning recipe? Why not enter the Pea Soup World Cup? Think I’m joking, guess again! The 21st edition of the Snert WK will take place on 20 February in Groningen. Now, go get practicing!!

Dutch Pea Soup (Erwtensoep)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Delicious Dutch Pea Soup: perfect for a hearty meal on a cold winter/fall evening!
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Dutch
Serves: 1 h 45 min
  • 300 g (1.5 cups/10.5 oz) dried green split peas (if you use whole peas, you will have to soak them)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) thick-cut bacon
  • 1 pork chop (5-6 oz/150 g)
  • 1 stock cube (vegetable, pork or chicken are all fine)
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2-3 sliced carrots (1/2 cup/ 3.5 oz/ 100 g)
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small leek, sliced (1/2 cup/ 3.5 oz/ 100 g)
  • 100g celeriac, cubed (1/2 cup/ 3.5 oz/100 g)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • handful of chopped celery leaves
  • a handful of sliced smoked sausage, e.g. Rookworst (a Dutch smoked sausage) or frankfurter/wiener sausages
  1. Boil 3¾ pints of water (1.75 l) in a large soup pot, along with the split peas, stock cube, pork chop and bacon. Skim off any froth forming on top as the pot starts to boil. Put the lid on the pot and leave to boil softly for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally (it may catch if you don't).
  2. Carefully take the pork chop out, debone and thinly slice the meat. Set aside. Add the vegetables to the boiling broth and leave to cook for another 30 minutes, adding a little extra water every time the soup starts to catch. Add the smoked sausage for the last 15 minutes. When the vegetables are tender, remove the bacon and smoked sausage with the tongs, slice thinly and set aside.
  3. If you prefer a smooth consistency, puree the soup with a stick blender until it is as chunky or smooth as you like. Season to taste. Add the meat back to the soup, setting some slices of 'rookworst' aside. Serve split pea soup in bowls or soup plates, garnished with slices of smoked sausage and chopped celery leaf.


26 Responses

  1. Ton

    Set a spoon in the middle, when it remain standing right up, you did it right.

    • mevr c hannema

      t is niet het goede recept van snert!!!!

  2. Peter

    On the day you make it, it’s called erwtensoep. The day after it gets the name snert.

    • rob

      Not completely right: Best things is to never use an Iron spoon but an old wooden one. And about the snert thing. Not after a day it is snert. You can only have Snert after freezing (especially outside but watch out for cats and other big/small animals and insects) because it cracks open en the cold Dutch outside air will enter in to the crack (you can put it in the freezer, but it gives a different taste)

      My Snert is standing for 3 nights freezing outside and the colder the better (with clear sky especially)

      • thewhiteskydiver

        Ur very right. 🙂

  3. maurice

    Hmmm erwtensoep., i want some tonight with pancakes mjam. The site looks great after the update, well done 😀

  4. Linda

    My first rule would be to never use stock cubes, but homemade stock/broth. Stock cubes are a sacrilege to any homecooked meal 😉
    Also, there has to be roggenbrood met katenspek (rye bread with a particular type of bacon)!

    • jmgroot

      That recipe you use…. That’s not Erwtensoep! At best that’s a strange interpetation of our traditional soup. Erwtensoep needs to be made in a huge pan, and in gargantuan quantities. If not, you will never get the flavour right. If you are looking for a traditional recipe visit my blog: It’s in Dutch I know, but at least it’s the correct start to creating your very own erwtensoep.

      • Nodri

        Also your Erwtensoep isn’t the real deal! You use stock cubes!!!! Make your own stock using Krabbetjes (spareribs) Pork chops, Saucijs (spiced pork sausage) en spek.
        Few years ago i came in 2nd on that competition so i know what i’m talking about! Will enter this years competition with a slightly different manner of cooking, recipe is the same!

    • Tami

      Is it at all possible to make without pork? I can use beef sausage and bacon…I’m Dutch but don’t eat pork.

  5. Peter van Casteren.

    There are different recepies in Netherland the soep hade many variations .in many parts of the Dutch.

  6. Michel

    OK, so carrots definitely don’t belong in traditional erwtensoep. Only manufacturers use it because it sells better (it has color). So if you ever eat erwtensoep with carots in it, it’s probably from a package and not fresh.
    Use the potato only to thicken the soup. I don’t use it, because I don’t mind if the soup is a bit more liquid.

  7. conversearoundtheworld

    I love this recipe! When I graduated the university gave us all as presents Dutch cooking books. I think it was only then that I appreciated the Dutch cuisine. However, my books doesn’t have that recipe. Thus, I’m leaving for the shop right now because I want to cook it for tonight! Is it better if I put the onion and meat in the skillet together for a few minutes before adding everything else?

  8. Rose

    it needs a pork tail… real pea soup.. needs a pork tail… and rye bread with bacon!

  9. Sue Long

    Been making this for years Just done my speculas for Christmas this afternoon……………….

  10. justthefoodpeople

    Erwten soep is salt pork, a beef bone, celery root and split peas.
    Not carrots or all the extra stuff you put in.
    And then of course there is the smoked sausage.

  11. ijlstra

    not anyone of you have have a idee how to make ertwensoep it was made by mother 90+ and non of them even look like her recicpe and it is verry original and the best

  12. Gordon gerrits

    Nothing sticks to your ribs on a cold winter day like Snet. Only problem is that as you get older it starts sticking to other parts of your anatomy !

  13. Kay de Vogel

    Please can we have some more recipes – eg blinde vinken, speculaas (how do I use the speculaas wooden mould that’s been in my cupboard for years?), and especially boterkoek? Thanks, Kay de Vogel

  14. Marjolein

    I just came here because I knew for sure that every single predictable Dutch person would start arguing in the comments claiming ‘the one true recipe’ is their own. And if course they had to! I’m so embarrassed of my own country sometimes.. Just because your great grandmother made her soup like that doesn’t make it ‘the original one’ there is no original recipe.. Everyone has their own. Get over it!


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