Ertesuppe (Split Pea Soup)

Beloved across the Twin Cities region of Minnesota, split pea soup is actually one of Norway’s many culinary imports. Our version of this perennial favorite makes a hearty lunch or dinner, ideal for fall or winter days. The combination of ham and chicken broth creates a flavorful soup. Split peas did not appear until the end of the 19th century, when a process for removing the skins became common—the peas split naturally when their skins are removed.



  • 1½ lb (680 g) dried green split peas
  • 2½ Tbsp (36 g) unsalted butter
  • 3 lg carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 lg yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 oz (120 g) ham, finely diced
  • 8 C (1890 ml) low sodium chicken broth
  • 6–8 C (1420–1890 ml) water
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • ¼ C (10 g) flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 oz (60 g) ham, cut into thin strips



Soak peas overnight. The next day, drain and rinse. Place butter in a large saucepan over medium low; add carrots, onion, garlic and ham and cook, stirring frequently, 12 minutes. Add peas, stirring to combine. Cook, stirring often, 8 minutes. Add chicken broth and 6 cups (1420 ml) water. Bring to a boil over high; then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently to prevent the bottom from burning, about 1 hour 10 minutes or until peas are very tender, skimming and discarding any scum that forms, and adding additional water if soup thickens too quickly. Remove about a third of the soup; cool 10 minutes; purée in a blender and return to soup, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and ham before serving.


Garnish with parsley and ham before serving.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes.
  • Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Makes 6–8 servings.

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