Legendary Dishes | Snert (pea soup)

Snert NETHERLANDS pea soup

Snert is the iconic staple dish of the Netherlands, a winter soup once found in railway station restaurants and high street cafes, with countless variations of the same basic recipe – dried whole or split peas, pig bones and marrow, pork meat and vegetables. Traditionally whole peas were soaked overnight, boiled in the soaking liquid with pig trotters slow cooked for several hours, left to tenderise in the jellied stock, then reheated. The double cooking of the peas is still essential to the method, less so the fatty and marrow bones, milk and potatoes which made the soup thick and hearty. A modern snert will contain smoked bacon, pork chops, smoked pork sausages and the ubiquitous stock vegetables – celeriac, carrots, leeks and onions, plus seasonings, usually celery leaves, parsley, pepper and salt. The following version combines the traditional with the modern.

  • 2 litres water
  • 1 pork hock / 2 pig trotters
  • 250 g potatoes, small, whole
  • 250 g smoked pork sausages
  • 200 g pork loin chop
  • 200 g split / whole peas
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 150 g carrots, chopped
  • 150 g celeriac, cubed
  • 100 g onions, chopped
  • 100 g smoked bacon
  • 1 leek, sliced thickly
  • Celery leaves handful, chopped
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Pepper, large pinch
  • Rye bread / toasted bread

Soak whole peas overnight, retaining the soaking liquid.

Bring the hock or trotters to the boil in the water in a heavy based saucepan. Skim off scum on the surface. Simmer for three hours with half of the carrots, all the celeriac, leeks, onions and chops.

Strain, leave to cool and remove meat from bones and chops.

Bring the stock, the soaking liquid of the peas and the peas to the boil. If using split peas add them at this stage.

Cook the peas for two hours until tender.

If using potatoes add them with the cooked meat, smoked bacon and pork sausages, the remaining carrots, and celery stalks. Cook for 15 minutes.

Season with salt, pepper and celery leaves.

Leave for at least four hours or overnight. Reheat slowly over a low heat.

Serve with slices of rye bread.


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