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Hernekeitto - Green Split Pea Soup

A hearty comfort food that feels just like a warm hug in a bowl


Welcome to Elisa´s cravings from the homeland again :D This one is a difficult one though, as I don´t know under which cuisine I should classify it. I remember my mom making it for me when I was a kid back in Estonia, where it is called Hernesupp. Coming from a Russian background, I also know that there is a similar soup in Russia, called Gorohovyj soup. In Finland we call it Hernekeitto and here in Germany it is Erbsensuppe. Each of these is a little different, even though it has the same name. I don´t want to classify this soup under any culture, so I won´t be totally wrong, I will just say that I made it as I remember my mom making it for me and that is the way I like it the most :)

​feel like the weather at the moment is playing a game with us. There are days that are beautiful, warm and sunny, and you think spring is here lets hide the winter cloths and start eating salads instead of soups..when the next thing you notice is a grey sky, pouring with rain and it is cold again. So you crawl up under the blanket and start dreaming about a warm bowl of soup. And this is where this recipe comes in handy, as it is the real deal comfort food that I would even dare to call "a warm hug in a bowl". This soup is so rich and flavourful, I think I could just drink that broth straight from a mug all day long :D

So be cold no more and make this delicious soup that will definitely keep you warm! 



Step by Step Video


Hernekeitto – Green Split Pea Soup

A hearty comfort food that feels just like a warm hug in a bowl


  • 500g whole green peas (dried) or green split peas

  • 5 laurel leaves

  • 15 black pepper pepper corns

  • 5 all spice pepper corns

  • 3-5tsp salt

  • 5 garlic cloves (small)

  • 5 white onions (small)

  • about 1kg pork with bones (soup bones)

  • 10 potatoes (medium)

  • 3 carrots


  1. These instructions apply only if you are using whole green peas, if using split peas you do not necessarily need to do this as they cook much faster. Wash the green peas shortly and then soak in a big bowl, or in a big pot, which you will be using for the soup later, with about 2 -3 litres of water (enough to cover the peas and so that there is a couple of centimetres on top of the peas) over night or for about 24 hours. On the next day, strain the water and wash the peas once more shortly with cold water. Transfer the peas to a large (minimum 5 litre) pot.

  2. Peel the garlic cloves and the onions. Cut the onions into fours.

  3. Add the laurel leaves, black pepper pepper corns, all spice pepper corns, salt, garlic cloves and the white onions to the pot with peas. Then add the pork bones on top and pour over enough cold water to cover the bones. To ensure the soup is not too salty for you, add only 3 teaspoons of salt first, then taste when the soup is ready and add more if needed.

  4. Cook the soup on medium heat so that it is constantly simmering for about 2 hours. You will notice that a kind of foam will form on the surface of the soup, you want to remove this with a spoon as it will ensure you have a clear broth when your soup is ready.

  5. After 2 hours remove the bones and allow them to cool shortly before removing the meat from them. In the meantime continue cooking the soup (simmering on medium heat) until the peas become really soft (test with a spoon). This can take from 3 to 4 hours.

  6. Once you notice the peas have softened, peel the potatoes and the carrots and cube them into bite sized pieces. Add the meat that was removed from the bones to the pot along with the potatoes and carrots. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until the potatoes and carrots have cooked.

  7. Allow the soup to stand for about 1-2 hours before serving. This allows to soften the peas even more and the soup becomes really nice and thick and hearty.

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