German Split Pea Soup (Erbsensuppe) | Part 1: The way of making split pea soup is different from most of the other soups: There are no carrots, onion or celery; the soup is made with only split peas, salt pork, bay leaf, coriander and a little water. When the soup is cooked, the pork is added and the soup is heated. You then add the peas and let them cook, then put it on the table.

Erbse is a very popular soup in Germany and every year, different types of split pea soup are made. Some are traditional and some are more modern.

You can prepare a delicious German Split Pea Soup (Erbsensuppe) in just 15 minutes. All the flavors of a traditional northern European dish are combined in one delicious soup. The soup is a real culinary highlight in the autumn months in Germany, and is one of the few dishes that Germans take with them to the sauna, the steam bath, and the swimming pool. Everything is prepared at home before the guests arrive.

1629407521_980_German-Split-Pea-Soup-Erbsensuppe

This German Split Pea Soup is hearty and simple to prepare.

Try this Split pea soup if you’re looking for a hearty, rich soup to sink your teeth into.

This soup, called in German as Erbsensuppe, is made with soaking split peas and plenty of freshly chopped veggies including carrot, leek, potato, and celery, as well as European-style wieners for a genuine meaty flavor.

To add some color to this German pea soup, sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top.

white bowl of german green bean soup with green pot behindPlease, one cup of German split pea soup!

In Germany, split pea soup is quite popular. It’s a traditional “Oma recipe” that the elder generation would prepare.

This is partly due to the fact that split peas, which are dried and peeled green peas, store well and are high in healthy calories that keep you satisfied.

Lisa grew up eating split pea soup in the south of Germany. So we’re glad we were able to replicate it here!

Substitutions and Recipe Suggestions

Here are a few things to think about before you start making this German pea soup recipe:

Because not all split peas are created equal, keep this in mind while looking at our cooking times and make any necessary adjustments.

We like our veggies to be softer, while other people prefer them to be firmer. If this is the case, after the peas have simmered for a while, add the veggies along with the potatoes.

1629407524_520_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeTake a look at those veggie pieces, wiener sausage, and potatoes!

For a genuine flavor (as near to Germany as possible), we choose European wiener, although any cooked sausage would suffice.

You may also use celery root (rather than green celery stalks) if you can locate it – celery root is more typically German!

If you can get your hands on genuine German “Schinkenspeck,” go ahead and use it. We’ve discovered that pancetta bacon is an excellent substitute that is often accessible in North America.

If you can’t locate pancetta bacon, try cutting a few slices of thick-cut bacon into tiny bits or adding a touch of pre-cooked ham for added flavor (we have not tried this yet, though).

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making German Split Pea Soup

If you wish to prepare this thick and delicious split pea soup, you can find a complete list of ingredients and quantities on the recipe card at the bottom of this article.

The recipe process pictures are below for those who wish to follow the step-by-step directions with visuals.

1629407525_620_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeSoak the split peas in water.

It’s preferable to soak the split peas beforehand, since this cuts down on the amount of time they need to cook.

Soak the split peas in a colander under running water for a few minutes, then transfer them to a saucepan or a big container with a cover.

Add enough water to completely cover the split peas. Then cover the pot and let the peas to soak for around 12 hours.

1629407526_105_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeRemove the onion and bacon from the pan.

Peel the onion and cut it into tiny pieces once the peas have soaked and are ready to be cooked.

If you haven’t already done so, chop the pancetta bacon into tiny pieces.

1629407527_877_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeCut the carrots and celery into small pieces.

The carrot should be peeled and the celery should be washed. Everything should be cut into tiny bits.

1629407528_159_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeRemove the leek and cut it up.

After that, wash the leek well since it may become very filthy. After that, slice it into rings.

1629407529_430_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeCook the pancetta bacon in a skillet.

Heat a little amount of oil in a big saucepan. Then, over medium-high heat, add the pancetta bacon and cook until the fatty bits become transparent.

1629407531_76_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeOnions should be sautéed.

Then add the onion pieces and cook until they’re translucent and the pancetta bacon is lightly browned.

1629407532_674_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeAdd the celery, carrot, and leek, chopped.

Add the carrot, celery, and leek at this point. Stir everything together, then sauté for another 2 minutes.

If you want your veggies to retain some crunch, don’t add them yet; do so after the potatoes!

1629407533_349_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeAdd the split peas that have been soaked.

Add the soaked split peas to the saucepan now, along with the water they soaked in.

1629407534_664_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeAdd the veggie broth to the pot.

Fill the saucepan with enough vegetable broth to barely cover the contents. This amounts to around 4 cups of vegetable broth in our instance.

You may need somewhat more or less water depending on the size of your pot, the veggies, and how much water you used to soak the peas.

Bring the soup to a boil at this point. Once the water has reached a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Allow for a 25-minute simmer, or until the peas are semi-soft. Make care to whisk the mixture every now and then.

1629407535_88_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppePrepare the parsley by chopping it.

Wash and finely cut the parsley in the meanwhile.

1629407537_826_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeCut the potatoes in half.

Also, peel and chop the potatoes into tiny pieces.

1629407538_113_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeToss in the potato cubes and parsley, and serve.

Add the potatoes and chopped parsley after the soup has simmered for about 25 minutes. Stir everything together, then continue to cook for another 30 minutes.

If you didn’t add the other veggies earlier, now is the time to do so. If required, add a little extra vegetable broth.

1629407539_442_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeCut up the wieners and toss them in.

Cut up the wiener sausages when the soup is nearly done. Toss them into the broth and give it a good swirl. You may also leave the sausages whole if that’s your preference.

Allow 5 minutes for them to heat up. Season with salt and salt and pepper to taste at this point.

1629407540_0_German-Split-Pea-Soup-ErbsensuppeWith a bit extra chopped parsley on top of our German split pea soup!

Serve the soup immediately. If desired, a little extra chopped parsley may be added as a garnish.

Storage Suggestions

Split pea soup leftovers may be kept in the fridge for up to two days. Just keep them in an airtight jar with a cover to keep them fresh. Also, before putting the soup in the fridge, make sure it has cooled.

Reheat the parts you wish to eat in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove (our favorite technique).

Just give the split pea soup a good stir before reheating it because the solids and water can separate a little. It’s possible that you’ll need to add a little extra water to the pot/bowl.

Alternatively, (some) of the soup may be frozen. We suggest doing it in small increments. This allows you to rapidly defrost and cook it in a saucepan on the stove over low heat.

FAQ

Is it necessary to soak split peas before boiling them?

Yes, in an ideal world. Soaking the split peas softens them, allowing them to be cooked. Unsoaked split peas will take a long time to soften during cooking, causing the recipe to fall apart (overall cooking time, tenderness of vegetables, amount of water needed, etc.)

Is it possible to use lentils instead of split peas in a soup?

That’s true, but it’s not split pea soup. It’s lentil soup, and the amount of time it takes to cook depends on the kind of lentils you use.

Can whole dried peas be substituted for split peas?

Sure, but it’s not split pea soup, is it? Also, don’t expect the soup to be creamy when it’s done. Because whole peas are more likely to remain together than split peas, the resultant broth will be thinner.

What’s the best way to prepare split pea soup from scratch?

Wash and soak the split peas overnight before cutting and boiling the veggies, peas, and any meat in stock to prepare split pea soup from scratch. The full recipe directions for split pea soup may be found below.

Recipes that are similar

Check out these other delectable dishes for more genuine German recipes:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups soaking uncooked green split peas
  • 1 pound potatoes (approx. 4 medium-sized potatoes)
  • 1 leek
  • a couple of celery sticks
  • 1 carrot, big
  • 1 yellow onion, medium-sized
  • 5 oz. bacon (pancetta) (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 4 c. vegetable stock (approx.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 wieners (European style)
  • season with salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. It’s better to soak the split peas overnight since they’re very firm. Wash your split peas in a sieve first, then transfer them to a big saucepan or container with a cover. Add enough water to completely cover the split peas. Allow the peas to rest for about 12 hours with the cover on.
  2. The pancetta bacon should be cut into tiny pieces. Also, peel and finely slice the onion.
  3. The carrot should be peeled and the celery should be washed. Everything should be cut into tiny bits.
  4. Wash the leek well (it may be filthy) and slice it into rings.
  5. In a big saucepan, heat some oil. Fry the pancetta bacon until the fatty portions are transparent over medium-high heat. Then add the onion pieces and cook until they’re translucent and the pancetta bacon is lightly browned.
  6. Combine the carrots, celery, and leek in a large mixing bowl. Stir everything together, then sauté for another 2 minutes. Don’t add your veggies yet if you want them to retain some crunch (see notes)!
  7. Add the soaked split peas to the saucepan, along with the water they soaked in.
  8. Fill the saucepan with just enough vegetable broth to cover the ingredients. This amounts to around 4 cups of vegetable broth in our instance. However, depending on the size of your pot, the veggies, and how much water you used to soak the peas, it may be somewhat more or less for you.
  9. Toss the soup in a pot with enough water to cover it and bring to a boil. Once the water has reached a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Allow for a 25-minute simmer, or until the peas are semi-soft. Stir once in a while.
  10. Peel the potatoes and chop them into tiny pieces as you wait. Wash and finely cut the parsley as well.
  11. Add the potatoes and chopped parsley once the 25 minutes are up and mix everything together. Allow another 30 minutes for the soup to boil.
  12. Cut up the European wiener sausages and put them to the soup to cook for about 5 minutes when the soup is nearly done. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  13. Serve the soup immediately.

Notes

  • The time it takes to cook split peas varies depending on the kind of split peas you use. As a result, please use the time references above as a guide and modify as needed.
  • Some individuals like their veggies to have a little hardness or crunch to them. If this is the case, leave out the leek, celery, and carrot while preparing the peas. Allow the split peas to boil for 25 minutes before adding the veggies, potatoes, and parsley. You may need to add a little extra vegetable broth.
  • Make careful to use European-style wieners to give this soup its genuine taste. They taste very different from North American hot dogs in our view, and give the soup a flavor similar to what you’d get if you cooked it in Germany. We can get them at our neighborhood supermarket (in Canada). If you can’t locate European wieners, you can certainly substitute different sausages.
  • When cooking, Germans often utilize “Schinkenspeck,” a kind of bacon. Italian pancetta bacon is the closest North American counterpart we could locate (and it’s easily accessible). That’s why this German dish includes Italian-style bacon!
  • Instead of the green stalks of celery that are so popular in North America, celery root is often utilized in German soups. If you can find a tiny celery root at your local grocery shop, feel free to use it.
Information about nutrition:

Approximately 8 servings 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size: 1 Serving Size 352 calories 21g total fat 7g Saturated Fat 0g trans fat 12 g of unsaturated fat 42 milligrams of cholesterol 816mg sodium 27g carbohydrate 6 g of fiber 4 g sugar 14 g protein

An online nutrition calculator was used to determine this nutritional information. It should only be used as a guideline and not as a substitute for expert dietary guidance. Depending on the particular components used, the exact values may vary.

How did this recipe turn out for you?

You may save it to one of your Pinterest boards and come back to it at any time!

It was a warm, sunny day when I decided to make this recipe, and I was of course using my favorite crockpot method. I’ve also recently started using my pressure cooker, and I’ve become a big fan of it. It’s so much faster than the crockpot, and it’s left me with some of the most amazing, melt-in-your-mouth, one-pot, best-thing-ever-cooked kind of meals. This one was a hit.. Read more about german pea soup and meatballs and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which dry herb is used in German pea stew?

The German pea stew uses a mixture of peas, carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes.

Can you be allergic to split pea soup?

Yes, you can be allergic to split pea soup.

Why is there a shortage of split pea soup?

There is a shortage of split pea soup because the demand for it has increased.