Home » Split Pea Soup or Stew – Traditional German

Split Pea Soup or Stew – Traditional German

how to cook pea soup

My parents hated split pea soup and any kind of stew. They had it a lot during WWII and didn’t want to be reminded of their childhood in war. But once in a while, we had a celebration in our village and the firefighters brought pea soup for everyone.
Pea Soup Stew

When there was a new building to inaugurate, the firefighters would come with their fire truck. It would pull a small trailer called “Gulasch Kanone” to the location. Like the one on the picture below:

Karl Gruber [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

This trailer contained a whole lot of pea soup with wieners and it was free food for everyone. I loved it! Although I, in general, have a sweet tooth (I guess you’ve noticed), I really appreciated this hearty comfort food, even on a warm summer day.

There was a slice of baguette bread with it, which was also a treat for me. My mom only allowed whole wheat and whole grain bread at home. Yes, I can really say that this is comfort food for me and I love pea soup or pea stew ever since.


Pea Soup or Pea Stew?

I like my soup to be more a stew than a soup. It’s rather on the mushy side. But this recipe goes both ways: If you want a rather liquid soup, you simply add a little more chicken broth and add the potatoes 10 minutes later, so they don’t release too much starch into the soup. That’s it.

Germans have one special sauce that is often added to the soup once it’s on the plate: Maggi. In my personal opinion, it destroys every unique taste of any soup and makes everything taste the same. Some people are so used to it that they can’t enjoy their soup without Maggie. Poor souls. I stick to seasoning with salt, pepper, and some apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and add some herbs like Majoran.

how to cook pea soup

Inexpensive & Easy

This soup is very easy to cook. It’s perfect for beginners. Just keep in mind that this soup needs to be stirred occasionally so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. The ingredients are cheap so it is also great if the budget is tight or to feed a crowd or if at the end of the month you need to stretch your money a little bit. Being one of four kids I know a little bit about that and to this day I frequently even out our weekly budget with one or two cheap meals.


In case you are jealous of my wonderful cubing tool:

how to cook pea soup

Split Pea Soup or Stew - Traditional German

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch (or Dinner), Meat Dish, Party Food, Soup
Cuisine German
Servings 4 servings


  • 250 g split or whole Peas
  • 1 leek
  • 200 g Celery Root
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 100 g bacon, cubed
  • 750 ml chicken broth
  • 250 g potatoes
  • 4 Wieners
  • some salt, pepper
  • some White Wine Vinegar


  • Put the peas in a bowl and cover with water, let them soak over night.
  • The next day: Cut the leek into rings, the carrots, celery and the potatoes into cubes.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot and add the bacon.
  • Let the bacon fry for a few minutes, then add the Carrots, Leek and Celery Root.
  • Sautee for a few minutes, then add the Chicken Broth.
  • Remove the remaining water from the peas and add them to the pot.
  • Let cook for 45 minutes, stir inbetween and check that ther is enough liquid in the pot.
  • After 45 minutes, add the Potatoes and let them cook in there for 10-15 minutes, continue to stir frequently.
  • Slive the Wieners and add them to the soup at the end of the cooking time.
  • Spice with salt, pepper and vinegar.


Add more Brooth if needed.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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4 thoughts on “Split Pea Soup or Stew – Traditional German”

  1. Thorunn Sleight

    Split pea soup or stew was always one of my favorite things to eat in Germany and Holland as well. It was always available in the canteen in the department stores and on the streets. Ever since I started making it myself, I have used a ham bone or ham hock instead of the bacon, and chopped up the resulting meat to add to the soup, as well as a few Würstchen. It’s hard to find celeriac, or root celery in the US, but it’s essential for the real flavor of the soup. I definitely like marjoram in it, and a bit of lovage is nice as well (I have a lovage bush in my garden!)

    1. Thorunn Sleight

      Oh, and instead of chicken broth, since I’m using a ham bone or hock, I simply use water.

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