Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

A real winter warmer or just perfect for the Irish summer! Familiar from northern and central Europe: Erbsensuppe in Germany; Ärtsoppa in Sweden. If you add a couple of Frankfurters/Wieners or a meatier sausage such as Bockwurst or Mettwurst you get what the Germans call an Eintopf or a one-pot meal. In Sweden split pea soup is traditionally served alongside pancakes and lingonberry sauce. Some people like to put a spoon of mustard on the lip of the bowl and take a small amount with each spoonful.


Makes: 2 mains or 4 starters
Preparation: 10 min
Cooking: 1 hour


1 stick

1 litre

Split green peas
Good-sized floury potato (such as Kerr’s Pink)
Medium onion
Medium carrot
Left-over ham or bacon (in one piece if possible)
Unsalted butter
Splash of oil
Salt (probably not)


Rinse the peas and pick over to remove any grit. Chop the onions roughly. Dice the carrot and celery into pieces of similar size to the onion. Peel the potato and cut into 8 pieces.

In a medium sized saucepan melt the butter over a medium to low heat. Add a splash of oil (sunflower, olive, etc) to help stop the butter burning. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cover and sweat for 10 minutes or so. Add the peas, potato and meat. Season with pepper and add water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes. At this stage the peas should still have the faintest bite of bite. Don’t let them go to a mush.

Lift out the meat and cut into small pieces. Use a potato masher to mash the contents of the pot. Don’t overdo it: leave some texture! Add the meat back into the pot and adjust the seasoning. You really shouldn’t need any salt as ham or bacon is usually quite salty.

Serve in warmed bowls and enjoy with some crusty bread.