Dutch Pea Soup (Snert)

Dutch Pea Soup or Snert, as it is known in the Netherlands, is thick, creamy and filling.  Perfect for Dutch winter weather, which is typically rainy, windy and grey, it’s also a favorite of ours, especially when winter storms hit.  We’ve lightened it up a bit by omitting the potatoes, commonly included in many recipes, and upped the protein content with three different meat components.  Dutch Pea Soup is delightful for dinner, perhaps as a first course before Austrian Smoked Pork Chops, and it makes for a great lunch too.

Dutch Pea Soup


Prep Time: 45 minutes, Total Time: 3 hours Serves 12.


  • 4 oz. Bacon, diced
  • 2 Tbs. Cooking Oil (Olive/Canola Oil blend is recommended)
  • 1 ½ cups sliced Carrots
  • 1 ½ cups sliced Celery
  • 1 cup diced Onion
  • 2 ½ cups diced Celery Root
  • 1 tsp whole Cloves
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp dried Thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1 Smoked Ham Shank*, approximately 2 lbs.
  • 8 oz. diced Ham
  • 1 lb. dried Split Peas
  • Water
  • 1 lb. cooked Smoked Sausage
  • 1 stick, 4 oz., salted Butter
  • Louisiana-style Hot Sauce*

Dutch Pea Soup


  1. Place the diced bacon and cooking oil in an 8-quart stock pot over a medium heat; cook, stirring occasionally.
  2. Trim the onion and dice it. Wash the celery root, cut off the top and all the rough outside and dice it. Combine the diced onion and celery root in a bowl.
  3. Rinse and trim the carrots and celery, retaining the leafy tops of the celery. Slice the carrots and celery and add to the bowl with the onion and celery root.
  4. Once the bacon is crisped, add the cut vegetables (onion, celery root, carrot and celery) to the stock pot. Stir to mix with the bacon, cover and cook until the vegetables have softened a bit.
  5. Pour the split peas into a colander, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  6. Combine the seasonings (cloves, cumin, thyme and black peppercorns) in a small bowl.
  7. Once the vegetables have softened, sprinkle the seasonings into the stock pot and add the smoked ham shank and diced ham to the stock pot on top of the seasonings.
  8. Add the split peas to the stock pot and enough water to cover it all by an inch. Cover, raise the heat to high and bring it to a boil.
  9. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to bring the soup to a rolling boil, cover and cook for 1 ½ hours or until the peas are breaking down.
  10. Using tongs, remove the ham shank from the soup, place in a bowl and allow it to cool.
  11. Cut the cooked smoked sausage into thin slices and place in a bowl.
  12. Once the ham shank is cool enough to handle, debone it, adding the meat to the bowl with the sliced smoked sausage.
  13. Add the deboned ham and the sliced smoked sausage to the soup and stir to mix.
  14. Add the stick of butter to the soup, cover and turn off the heat.
  15. Once the butter is melted, stir it into the soup and serve, accompanied by Louisiana-style hot sauce if you like.


  1. Ask your butcher to cut the smoked ham shank into two or three pieces; the smaller pieces will allow more surface area of the ham shank to interact with the rest of the soup’s ingredients and add a deeper, smoke flavor to the soup.
  2. While it’s clearly not in the Dutch tradition, we really like adding a few dashes of Louisiana-style hot sauce into our bowls of Dutch Pea Soup (Snert) at the table.

Dutch Pea Soup


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