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The Hirshon Finnish Split Pea Soup With Ham – Hernekeitto

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 300g/10 1/2oz split green peas
  • pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 small smoked ham hock with bone, about 1 pound
  • 2 onions, one left whole, peeled and with 2 cloves stuck in it and one diced
  • 1 blade of mace
  • 3 whole allspice
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 9 black peppercorns
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • hot mustard (for stirring into individual soup portions)
  • ***
  • Pannukakku (Finnish Pancake):
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vanilla sugar (preferred) or just use regular sugar and add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • a 9x13 pan or a 10×15 pan for a thinner version
  • whipped cream for garnish
  • wild berry compote or jam (TFD prefers cloudberry, lingonberry or sea buckthorn – all Finnish specialty items!)


  1. Put the split peas in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda. Cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Put the ham hock in a large saucepan, cover it with 1½-2 litres/2½-3½ pints cold water and bring to the boil.
  3. As soon as it has reached boiling point remove from the heat. Drain, wash the ham hock and the pan to get rid of any starchy foam.
  4. Put the ham back in the pan and cover with water again. Add the whole onion studded with cloves, allspice, mace, ginger and bay leaves to the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 1 hour.
  5. Rinse the split peas and put in a saucepan, bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. Drain the peas and add to the ham hock pan along with the diced onion and carrot.
  6. Add marjoram and simmer until the peas are tender, this should take between 45 minutes to 1 hour. Top up with more water if needed.
  7. Remove the ham hock, whole onion, bay and mace.
  8. Break up the ham hock, discarding the skin and bone and pull the meat into pieces.
  9. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to a rough purée, add the ham hock meat back into the soup and warm through.
  10. Serve with bread and hot mustard to stir into the soup.
  11. For the Pannukakku:
  12. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  13. Lightly blend eggs, salt, milk, flour and sugar until a thin batter is formed.
  14. While you are mixing ingredients, place the butter into the pan and let it melt in the oven.
  15. When the batter is completed, gently pour the batter into the hot pan. Cook for 25-30 minutes. The Pannukakku should rise up high out of the pan and turn golden brown.
  16. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with a bit of extra sugar, if you want.
  17. Serve warm with butter and syrup, berry compote, and top with whipped cream.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours

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