Flanken Split Pea Soup


I am so pleased, and honored, that Stefan (the proprietor of Stefan Gourmet) and I are co-blogging a duet of delectable pea soups; his version of Pea soup can be found here. When Stefan posted his fabulous recipe for Classic Dutch Pea Soup, it had me at hello! Oh, my: the deep, rich flavors of his dish are incomparable.


Stefan’s erwtensoep,” or “snert,brought back great memories of pea soups past. One of my nostalgic “pea soup moments” dates back to visiting my lovely college friend Janine, and her fantastic husband Ron, in Indianapolis years ago.


In 2001, Janine and I hit it off right immediately at University of Texas. Our sports-loving boyfriends (now our husbands) did as well. By happenstance, the then-boyfriends both became doctors, and we all remained in touch. The last time we stayed in their Indiana home, Janine prepared an amazing Shabbat dinner of schnitzel, split pea soup, green beans, rice and scrumptious challah. Whenever I make split pea soup, I always think of Janine’s welcoming kitchen.


This version of pea soup is rich with vegetables and lamb. Lamb has a combination of sweet, succulent and savory flavors; it is one of my favorite meats. The soup makes a lovely lunch or light dinner when paired a crisp, green salad and crusty, artisanal bread.


This is how to re-create flanken (meat) split pea soup at home:


When preparing a soup with myriad vegetables, it helps to assemble your ingredients.


Take care to cut extra vegetables if children (like Snu Magoo and Littlest Guy!) are in the kitchen. They will decrease your supplies by half – and smile as they do so!


The children cannot reach the raw vegetables in the slow-cooker. Nor would they want to – bay leaves and uncooked peas are not especially tasty.


Meanwhile, searing the lamb yields great color and flavor. Do not take a bite of the lamb; one bite quickly becomes five. Trust me, the smell makes it quite tempting!


Sauté the carrot, onion and celery to obtain amazing taste. Add the garlic for the last 30 seconds, until just fragrant.


All of the ingredients make a happy family in the slow-cooker.


Eight hours later, the lamb is removed and chopped (though a knife is barely necessary, as it falls off the bone). The vegetables are easily puréed with an immersion blender. Back in goes the lamb, and tah-dah: Soup!

My hubby, Abba (affectionately know as “The Swedish Pop Band”) enjoyed his flanken split pea soup with a salad (of bûcheron chevré, roasted squash, d’anjou pear, tart cherries and pecans). To the side: a moderately hoppy local red IPA … and toasted, buttered five-olive bread.

Soup, salad, bread and booze – you really can’t go wrong there.

I hope that you give this recipe – and Stefan’s –  a try soon. What is better on a cold, winter day than a hot bowl of hearty, nutritious soup?



Flanken Split Pea Soup


1 pound organic, grass-fed lamb loin chops (kosher, if desired)

2 cups organic, green split peas, rinsed and sorted

8 sodium-free, organic vegetable bouillon cubes

8 cups filtered water (or, replace the bouillon and water with low-sodium vegetable stock)

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh rosemary

1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh lavender

4 large garlic cloves, finely minced

1 cup sliced, baby carrots

1 cup sliced celery (about 4 stalks)

1 cup chopped, yellow onion (about one small onion)

1 cup chopped, red onion (about one small onion)

1 cup chopped, vine-ripe tomato (about one large tomato)

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 tsp. each: fine salt and cracked black pepper

additional salt and pepper, to season the sautéed lamb and vegetables

chopped parsley, to garnish the soup


  • Assemble all of your ingredients.
  • Place the tomato, bouillon cubes, water, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, rosemary, lavender, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and split peas in a large slow-cooker.
  • Season the lamb with a light amount of salt and pepper
  • Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Sauté the lamb for two minutes on each side, or until browned. The goal is not to cook the lamb, but to obtain nice color on the outside.
  • Remove the lamb and place it in the slow-cooker.
  • Over medium-heat, warm the remaining Tbsp. of olive oil in the same pan the lamb was browned.
  • Sauté the celery, carrot, yellow and red onions until slightly caramelized and fragrant, about five to ten minutes.
  • Lightly season the vegetable medley with salt and pepper.
  • Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to one minute more, until the garlic is redolent.
  • Remove the vegetable medley to the slow-cooker.
  • After eight hours of cooking, remove the lamb loin chops from the slow-cooker. Cool slightly. Chop into small pieces. Discard the bones.
  • Remove the two bay leaves and discard.
  • Using an immersion blender, purée the vegetable mixture in the slow-cooker until smooth and creamy.
  • Return the chopped lamb to the slow cooker. Allow the soup to continue to cook on low for about fifteen more minutes, or until the lamb is warmed through.
  • Taste the soup and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Serve the soup with chopped, fresh parsley. Enjoy… L’Chayim!


©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013-2014), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.


62 thoughts on “Flanken Split Pea Soup

  1. Hi Shanna, it’s been great fun to do a ‘duet’ with you! I like your pea soup and it is interesting to note all the similarities and differences between our takes on lamb & pea soup. I love the story about what pea soup means to you personally. Those lamb chops look so good that it seems a shame to put them in a soup — I bet they were great in the soup though. I’ve never used an immersion blender for pea soup as the peas fall apart by themselves. But then again I did use a food processor to very finely mince all the other veggies.

    1. Stefan, Yes, I loved reading your recipe. I like the way you think from a culinary perspective. Also, I can see how meaningful pea soup is to you from a cultural perspective. Very bright of you to use a food processor to finely chop the vegetables. As you said, with the tenderness of the peas, this method eliminates the need for an immersion blender. I enjoyed our duet as well! Thank you for such a lovely note. Warm wishes, Shanna

  2. So much put into this wonderful soup Shanna. Your photographs as well as your organization are unmatched! Nice work my friend. Wonderful looking soup and your little ones are the cutest! 🙂

    1. Seana, Oh, my. These amazing compliments are so touching. Your blog is just inspirational, and I appreciate the amazing support and feedback. I hope you have a lovely Wednesday up in there in the beautiful NW. My hubby actually applied to your city for a surgical fellowship, among other places; I’d love to live in your neck of the woods. My most appreciative thoughts and best wishes to you… Shanna

  3. Hi Shanna it a really surprise to see you make a nice Dutch Pea soup,It must be very cold over there?
    It looks very nice and must be very delicious with the tasty of the lamb (after 8 hours the lamb has been in the soup as marinated).
    I have been check the soup for Stefan,and I choose your soup,Why?
    because I feel the warm of the happy family ,and the passion that has been made it.
    have a nice day, Massi

    1. Thank you for the warm and generous words, Massi. Yes, the soup is so tasty with the lovely flavors of slow-cooked lamb! My husband and I shared the rest of the soup yesterday for lunch – I am sad that it is all gone. The weather was frightfully cold last week, but this week the sun is out and the highs are near 60•F (15.5•C) – still, I love a lunch of homemade soup, salad and toast! I appreciate your visit – and take good care! Best, Shanna

  4. I love lamb meat. Lamb meat is perfect for soups, Persians use lamb shank for soups (and we suck on the bone too!) 😀 ))) I really appreciate your soup full of healthy vegetables. Of course, Snu Magoo and Littlest Guy cameo is priceless!

    1. Fae, Once again, I am wondering if I have Persian ancestry? 😉 I seem to love all foods Persian! 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to leave a kind note… I hope your day is a lovely one, filled with fun and great food. Best, Shanna

  5. I love all the herbs here, a bit less lamb meat, in my region we don’t use it often.
    Ah! I was just trying to remember who published an article about pea soup recipe: I’ve already read it! 🙂 Stay well, dear!Hugs – Cris

    1. Thank you, Cris. I am glad that you enjoy herbs, as well! I am sure you could forgo the lamb and make the soup vegetarian – or even add some green lentils for heartiness, protein and iron. I appreciate your kind words and visit; have a great night! Best wishes, Shanna 🙂

  6. One of our favorites is split pea soup. Haven’t made it
    in a while but your recipe has inspired me to think about it. There’s nothing like popping a no fuss batch of ingredients into a pot for
    several hours to produce a savory treat for dinner. Thanks for the inspiration, Shanna!

    1. Hi, Linda. Your pea soup sounds scrumptious to eat and fast to prepare. I hope that you post your recipe on your blog soon. I am glad that this post inspired you to go back to an old family favorite. Thank you for visiting and for your kind words. Warm wishes, Shanna

  7. I enjoyed reading your narration right through to the end. I lived in the Netherlands, so I ate a lot of erwtensoep with thick, smoked dutch sausages. It used to be a meal on its own, during winter. With some freshly baked bread. The bread in Europe, especially the Netherlands tastes so much better. I love the addition of lamb to your soup, lots of nice smelling herbs and veggies too. The photos look great. I am on the cilantro side of the fence so I would top it up with fresh cilantro and a add some streaky bacon to pep up the flavours. Thanks so much for sharing. I hope everyone enjoyed eating the soup. Have a wonderful day! Best…Liz

    1. Thank you, Liz, for the generous words. You are too kind! I enjoyed reading about your time in The Netherlands- how fabulous. How long did you live there and when? I am with you on cilantro; it is a delicious herb. As for the bacon, we do not eat pork… but a bit of beef bacon would be a delicious addition. I’ll have to try it next time! Have a fabulous day. Warmest wishes, Shanna

      1. Now i know you don’t eat pork, but there’s also chicken bacon, besides beef. I lived there during my postgrad studies…so we were making the soup in the students residence, but I also had a lot of friends outside the residence. The dutch are lovely people. I really enjoyed my stay there. Have a happy valentine and a great weekend.

  8. Shanna, next to lentil soup, split pea soup is the soup I make the most often. I really enjoy it. I want to try your preparation and lamb. I usually do the american smoked ham hocks version, or a chicken version, but yours looks delicious. thanks for the post!

    1. Hi, Paul! I love lentil soup, too! Actually, for lunch today, I had a big bowl of a squash and red lentil soup with Indian flavors. So yummy! 🙂 Do you have a favorite lentil soup on your blog? A chicken version of pea soup sounds delicious – I have never had such a thing. Thank you for your kind compliment on the soup. Have a great day! Best, Shanna

  9. Shanna, this looks so good. I love that you used lamb as the meat taste and not a pork. Wow. Great idea teaming up with someone else you admire. Lavender and rosemary? OMG. Are those your beautiful children? They looks like dolls!

    1. Amanda, I appreciate all of the kind words and your visit. I, too, am a great fan of lamb and fresh herbs (MMMM!). Yes, those little ones are my munchkins. They occasionally make an appearance on the blog, generally when carrots or chocolate are involved (they have very nimble, sneaky fingers!). Have a lovely afternoon! Best, Shanna

  10. Ah Shanna, what a beautiful meal and I loved hearing about the story of your college friend and your visit to their home. Lamb is a favorite here and my husband asks for it quite often, especially at this time of year. This would be perfect for us to make since I’m looking for more soup recipes. I’d love to recreate the salad you mentioned…it sounds wonderful as well. Your littles are precious! Now, off to visit Stefan! 🙂

    1. Thank you for the lovely words, Allison, and for taking the time to check out both soup recipes. I appreciate all of your support – and am glad to hear that you enjoy lamb, as well. From looking at your blog, we enjoy many of the same types foods and recipes! Have a fantastic day! Warm wishes, Shanna

    1. Thank you, Ada. What a compliment: delicious, squared! 🙂 Your are always so kind in your words – and so enthusiastic about cooking and food. I appreciate your visit and am happy to hear from you, as always. I hope the wedding planning is going well – and “happy (belated) birthday to you!” (I won’t sing – that would be just plain mean! 😉 ). Best wishes, Shanna

    1. Thank you for the lovely words, Michelle! I hope that you have a happy Valentine’s Day. As for the clock, do you have any ideas on how to remedy the issue? I am a fairly new blogger and am still learning the ropes… thanks for noticing. Best wishes, Shanna

      1. Yeah, it’s buried somewhere in your settings in a menu on the left of your dashboard. I think you set it to some city in the same time zone as you. Apparently yours is set in Europe (not such a bad thing!).

  11. I might could be tempted but this. I despised peas growing up. That was the food I would they to sneak to the dog or I would be sitting at the table all night until I finished. Pea soup made me gag! Nowadays I don’t mind fresh peas or frozen peas when part of another dish. The lamb in this soup could win me over!

    1. Hi, Gretchen – Split peas take a bit of love and care, but my family very much enjoys their texture, flavor and depth. Do let me know what you think. Thank you for your visit – and the cute childhood story! 🙂 My husband’s sister used to flush her broccoli down the toilet when the parents were not looking! Best, Shanna

  12. You have only yourself to blame for having to resist the irresistible when you cook such glorious stuff, Shanna! No wonder it’s hard to get the lamb into the rest of the recipe when you’re making it so gorgeous. 😀

  13. Before I say anything about the gorgeous, soup, will you look at the Little Guy’s rosy cheeks? Cherubs should be so lucky!
    As I mentioned on Stefan’s blog, I’ve never thought to use lamb in soup. Using it here, in your split pea, sounds absolutely delicious, Shanna. This post is proof that good things result when blogs collide.

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