Finnish Split Pea Soup in Crockpot


There is nothing more satisfying on a cold and snowy day than this soup.This is a true Nordic favorite. Every Thursday, Finns across the country (and many Scandinavians across the other Nordic countries) gather for a ritual of deep meaning – the ceremonial meal of pea soup with ham and pancakes with jam! In Finland, traditionally, it’s always followed by Dutch baby pancake, whipped cream, and jam. The dessert is obligatory. This reminds me that I need to write the PANNUKAKKU recipe down too. But, because Shrove Tuesday is coming up, an exception is being made. THE dessert will be semla or Shrovetide brioche filled with whipped cream and strawberry jam.

Shrovetide Brioche recipe


As Finland was until 1809 part of the Swedish Realm, Sweden and Finland share many cultural traditions, including that of the pea soup (Swedis härtsoppa; Finnish hernekeitto ; Norwegian ertesuppe; Danish gule ærter).

In Finland, the soup is made of green peas, whereas in Sweden and Denmark only yellow peas are used. In Finland, we eat dark sourdough rye bread with the soup. Here is the recipe for the sourdough rye bread.


The tradition of eating pea soup and pancakes on Thursdays is said to originate in the pre-Reformation era, as preparation for fasting on Friday.

This is a very simple recipe but it takes time to cook it. I have been racking my head how to optimize this recipe for Crockpot, and I think I have it now! It is actually ridiculous how simple this soup is to make. So here we go.Recipe for Finnish split pea soup.Hope you will like it!

Many recipes call for soaking the peas first, I tried that but didn’t see any difference in result if you soaked them or didn’t so, I toss everything same time in the Crockpot and close the lit. Yes, all ingredients in one go! Nine hours cooking and you have the best split pea soup what you can imagine! The cooking time listed below is minimum cooking time; the longer you cook it on low heat, the better it gets. If you reheat the soup it only makes the taste more intensive. This soup also freezes wonderfully. Many like to add mustard to their soup. The mustard is always being served on the side so everyone can stir it into ones taste.


You can also make this soup VEGAN by leaving meat away and changing the meat stock into vegetable stock. To still get a wonderful smoky flavor, you could add a pinch of smoked salt in the end into your soup.

  • 1,5 l water
  • 8 dl meat stock
  • eight kernels of allspice
  • 500 g smoked ham (one large piece with the bone if possible)
  • 800 g soft starchy potatoes, diced small
  • about 400g carrots, diced
  • 500 g dried whole green peas
  • 1 tbs  dried marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • the salt according to your own taste
  1. Clean and drain peas using a colander.
  2. Add cubed ham; or the whole ham with the bone to pot. (If you do not find smoked ham with the bone, get the pork bones separately, this what I do, because it is really hard to find smoked ham with the bone in Austria.Smoked ham though, is all over the place. Before adding them to the Crockpot, roast them in the oven or pan, as you would do to any other bones when making meat stock.)
  3. Add water, meat/vegetable stock, allspice kernels, marjoram, diced onion and garlic, and bay leaf. Add also diced potatoes or carrots.
  4. Begin simmering on the high heat setting for 4 hours.The peas begin to split (this takes around 2 hours). If you leave them on a high boil for longer, you can cut off about 20 minutes if you are lucky! If you were lucky enough to find smoked ham with the bone, this what you will do at this point: when the ham is fully cooked it will begin to come off the bone, so you can remove the bone and ham at that time, and cut the ham into smaller bite-size pieces and add back into the soup.
  5. Keep on simmering on low heat at least 4 more hours.
  6. Add the salt in the end. Use your judgment on how much salt you add.
  7. Serve with mustard and rye bread.

Note: If you didn’t find a smoked ham use normal ham and in order to still get a wonderful smoky flavor, you could add a pinch of smoked salt in the end into your soup. When this soup cools down it thickens, so might want to dilute it with water.

EDIT: I have never tried it but if you do not want to use pork meat try smoked salted beef. Or just used minced meat and beef bones. I think it will work well. I have to try it once BMS.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hannele.. My favorite so far!! Hope you are well!


    1. Hannele says:

      Doing ok! Back to cooking and blogging 😊


  2. I’m a little confused on what the measurement dl is “8 dl meat stock”


    1. Hannele says:

      dl is shortening from deciliter. I am using metric system.


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