The hearty split-pea soup has a permanent placement on the Polish menu. It’s a classic Polish dish famous for its full-bodied taste, thick consistency, and mouth-watering aroma. It’s an excellent fall and winter dish, delightfully warming and quite filling!
In Poland, grochówka is not only a dish served in almost every household, it is also one of the most common dishes served in the army. In fact, sometimes in Poland it is referred to as the “military” pea soup. It’s no wonder that it makes for a great dish for the troops when even one serving is enough to satisfy even the biggest appetite!
The unique character of this soup, as the name suggests, is created by the peas. Combined with smoked meats and veggies, and generously seasoned with aromatic herbs, it makes for an unforgettably tasty and filling meal!
Try this recipe for a traditional Polish grochówka and enjoy it with friends and family! It will surely warm and brighten up a chilly, rainy or snowy day!
Cooking note: The split pea soup prepared with smoked meats should contain a large amount of dried marjoram, which facilitates digestion.
INGREDIENTS for approx. 1 gallon (8 servings):
- 1 lb. of yellow shelled peas (halved or whole)
- 6.5 cups of water
- 2 oz. of Polish Bacon (smoked or raw)
- 3.5 oz. of Country Smoked Sausage – “Wiejska Kielbasa”
- 1 lb. of ribs (for the stock)
- 2 onions (one for stock, one for sautéing)
- leek leaves (the green part of the leek)
- 1 lb. of potatoes
- 2 medium-sized carrots
- 2- 4 cloves of garlic (depending on the intensity, add to taste)
- 3 bay leaves
- 7 grains of allspice
- 1 tablespoon of marjoram
- salt, ground black pepper
- oil for frying
- Rinse the peas, add cold water and leave to soak overnight.
- On the second day, strain the peas from the water they soaked in overnight. Transfer them over to a pot. Then pour fresh water over them until it fills up the pot just a little above the peas. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the peas are soft and fall apart.
- In the meantime, prepare the stock: Add the rinsed ribs into 6.5 cups of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, stir and add in the bay leaves, grains of allspice, a teaspoon of salt, washed, cut, unpeeled onion and washed leek leaves. Cook, covered, for about 1 hour, until the meat is tender. Then pull out the ribs, onions, leeks and spices. Add peeled, washed and diced carrots, potatoes and a teaspoon of salt. Cook until tender.
- Dice the bacon and sausage. First fry the bacon slowly in a tablespoon of oil on low heat, then add the sausage and fry together. (Do not brown too much). When done, add to the pot with the cooked, crumbled peas.
- Separately, fry the diced onion in a tablespoon of oil.
- When the potatoes become soft in the stock pot, add in the peas along with the fried sausage and bacon (the entire contents of the pot) and the fried onion, including the oil on which it was fried. Finally, add marjoram, pepper and garlic cloves to taste.
For an extra filling helping, you can add in shredded pieces of the meat from the ribs used for the stock. Enjoy with a thick slice of traditional Polish sourdough bread!
Recipe inspired by grochówka recipe from kuchnia-domowa.pl