My dad didn’t cook much growing up, more just because he often worked late owning his own business. In fact, we discovered he could make amazing Indonesian food when I was a teenager. That whole time we could’ve been eating like Balinese kings... anyways, that’s not the point. The point is, Dutch Pea Soup is something he made, or my mom made for him and I will always remember two things he would say about Dutch Pea Soup: 1- it’s called “snert” in Dutch (sn-AIR-t), basically the least attractive Dutch word I’ve heard but in that sense, one of the best. And 2- it should be thick enough for your spoon to stand straight up in it. That tip is for the next day, once it’s been in the fridge.
This soup, or snert, holds the spoon straight up so I felt it was fair to call it a Dutch pea soup. It’s full of veggies, the way I like it, and simmered with a smoked ham hock for rich flavour. It’s another freezer friendly soup, like the Turkey Taco Soup, and is best served with croutons or buttered toast. Preferably on a rainy Sunday but it’s satisfying anytime.
I really enjoyed pairing this hearty, sumptuous soup with a dry, fruit forward sparkling wine or glass of Champagne.
Dutch Split Pea + Ham Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 strips bacon, cut into lardon
1 medium smoked ham hock (700 grams)
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 medium or 2 small leeks, rinsed well and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups of dried split peas, rinsed well and drained
3 1/2 cups or 900 ml low-sodium chicken stock (1 tetrapak container)
5 cups water
2 or 3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon dried sage
2 cups carrots, sliced into 1/4 - 1/2 inch rounds
2 1/2 cups yellow potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Zest from one lemon
Salt + pepper to taste
In large pot or Dutch oven, add olive oil and heat to medium high. When hot, add bacon and sautee until just crispy. Remove some excess bacon fat and discard, leaving some for sautéing the vegetables. Add onion, celery and first cup of carrots and sauté until vegetables start to soften. Add leeks and garlic and sauté until softened.
Add ham hock, bay leaves, rosemary, sage and thyme and stir to combine. Add split peas, chicken stock and water. Turn heat to high, cover, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 90 minutes.
Once peas have softened, remove ham hock and set aside to allow to cool. Add potatoes and carrots to the pot. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer uncovered until vegetables have softened fully, about 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove skin from ham hock and pull ham from the bone, chopping into small pieces. Once vegetables are softened, add ham back to pot and stir to combine. Season with lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with homemade croutons or buttered toast.
Be sure to tag @crushfoodandwine if you try this recipe!