Polish Split Pea Soup {Grochówka}

As all of America is preparing for pumpkin to take over the produce section, the news feed, food magazines, coffee shops, kitchens and our taste buds, I’m thinking of how it reminds me of a Polish grochówka [groh-hoov-kah]. Just like pumpkin soup, it is perfect for rainy and cool evenings, that will warm your belly and keep you full and satisfied. Okay, okay… I know, us Poles eat scolding hot soups all summer long… but I’ve lived in the US for over 16 years now, and  I’m starting to see the benefits of taking a break from hot soups through the hot season. It’s cooling off now and I’m craving hot and robust soups and stews, like zupa gulaszowa or zupa rybna, hot side dishes, like kapusta zasmażana or fasolka po bretońsku and hardy one-dish meals, like bigos.

Grochówka is a simple soup, but so palatable. It’s thick, smooth and rich. I used a piece of ham that my husband smoked for me, so the extra smokiness makes it so pleasantly different. I encourage you to use a piece of meat that has a smoky flavor, leftover smoked ribs would do great, a smoked turkey wing, or a piece of smoked slab bacon. You will find out what difference it makes in the flavor of the soup. I can drink this stuff.

Polish Split Pea Soup {Grochówka}

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 50-60 min


  • 2 cups / 16 oz / 454 g of yellow split peas
  • 8 cups / 2 liters of vegetable (or chicken ) broth
  • A small piece (about 6-7 oz / 200 g) of smoked meat of choice (smoked turkey wing, or a leftover piece of ham, a couple smoked ribs or home-smoked bacon)
  • 3 small carrots
  • 6 small/medium potatoes
  • 2 tbs of butter
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 tbs of dried marjoram


  1. Wash peas and take out any impurities. Place in pot with broth and smoked meat (add salt to taste, if broth isn't salty). Bring to boil and simmer on low for 35 min.

  2. In the mean time, peel and slice carrots, peel and cube potatoes (keep in water, so they don't brown). After 35 min add vegetables to the soup and boil for another 20 min, or until peas cook and dissolve into the soup.

  3. When cooked add onion sautéed in butter and marjoram. Taste. Add salt, if needed.


Feel free to serve some of the meat you used to cook the soup for added flavor.

Green split peas would work great for this soup also.