Swiss Pea Soup

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“Pea soup is very traditional in Northern Europe. This is a Swiss version. They would use a ham called jambon de la borne, or hook ham, as it is hooked up in the huge cheese chalet chimney where people make cheese on wooden fires in the Alps. Most of us will have to do with a good smoked ham bone. The recipe was adapted liberally from”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 lb yellow split peas
  • 1 ham bone, smoked with some meat on it
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 10 waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 onions, one left whole, the other finely diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • one bunch herbs (such as a mix of parsley, sage, thyme, oregano, celery leaves and savory)
  • salt & fresh ground pepper


  1. Soak the peas in water for at least 90 minutes, or overnight. Change the water a few times.
  2. Take the whole onion and nail the bay leaves into it with the whole cloves.
  3. Add the oil to a soup pot. When hot, add the diced onion and chopped leek and saute until they're soft. Add the chopped carrots, potatoes and celeriac and continue to saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add water until the vegetables are just covered.
  5. Rinse the peas an additional time and add to the pot with the vegetables. Add the whole studded onion and the ham bone. Wrap the herbs and tie with kitchen twine, and add it to the pot as well (leaving a little string to pull it out easily).
  6. Add more water to cover and cook over medium (not hot) heat,slowly, until it boils. Remove the skim as needed as it comes to a boil.
  7. When boiling, lower heat to a simmer, and cook at least two hours uncovered.
  8. Remove the tied herb bunch, the whole studded onion and the ham bone.
  9. Using a stick blender, puree the soup until well blended.
  10. Taste before salting, as the ham is pretty salty. Top with cracked pepper, and any ham bits that were cut from the removed bone.

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