Indulge in the warmth and simplicity of Estonian cuisine with this classic dish, Hernesupp. Known for its comforting flavors and nourishing qualities, Hernesupp is a traditional pea soup that has been cherished in Estonian households for generations. Made with tender peas, savory smoked ham or pork, and a blend of aromatic herbs and spices, this soup embodies the essence of Baltic comfort food. Served hot, garnished with fresh parsley and accompanied by hearty rye bread, it's the perfect meal to soothe the soul on a chilly evening or to celebrate the rich culinary heritage of Estonia. Whether enjoyed as a starter or a main course, Hernesupp promises to delight your taste buds and transport you to the cozy kitchens of the charming Estonian countryside.

Here's a simple recipe for Estonian Hernesupp:


  • 2 cups dried green peas, soaked overnight
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 200g smoked ham or pork, diced (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish
  • Sour cream or yogurt (optional, for serving)


1- Drain the soaked peas and rinse them under cold water.

2- In a large pot, combine the soaked peas with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

3- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer the peas for about 30 minutes, or until they are tender.

4- While the peas are cooking, prepare the vegetables. In a skillet, sauté the chopped onion, carrots, and celery until they are softened, about 5-7 minutes.

5- If using, add the diced smoked ham or pork to the skillet with the vegetables and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, until the meat is lightly browned.

6- Once the peas are tender, add the sautéed vegetables and meat (if using) to the pot. Stir to combine.

7- Add the bay leaves, dried thyme, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

8- Allow the soup to simmer gently for another 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

9- Once ready, remove the bay leaves from the soup.

10- Serve the Hernesupp hot, garnished with fresh parsley. Optionally, you can add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt on top of each serving for added creaminess.

11- Enjoy your comforting bowl of Estonian pea soup with some crusty bread or traditional rye bread on the side.

This hearty and flavorful soup is perfect for warming up during cold winter days or for enjoying a taste of Estonian cuisine any time of the year.

Nutritional Values:

Here are approximate nutritional values for the main ingredients in the Estonian Hernesupp recipe:

Dried Green Peas (per 1 cup, cooked):

  • Calories: 115
  • Protein: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 21g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Iron: 2.5mg
  • Potassium: 355mg
  • Vitamin A: 35 IU
  • Vitamin C: 1.2mg


  • Excellent source of plant-based protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • High in dietary fiber, which aids digestion and promotes satiety.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, and vitamin A, important for overall health and well-being.

Smoked Ham (per 100g):

  • Calories: 145
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fat: 7g
  • Sodium: 1,100mg
  • Potassium: 295mg


  • Provides a good source of protein, necessary for building and repairing tissues in the body.
  • Contains essential nutrients like iron and potassium, important for proper blood circulation and muscle function.
  • Adds flavor and depth to the soup, enhancing its overall taste and satisfaction.

Onion (per 100g):

  • Calories: 40
  • Protein: 1.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.3g
  • Fiber: 1.7g
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Vitamin C: 7.4mg
  • Vitamin A: 1 IU


  • Rich in antioxidants such as quercetin and sulfur compounds, which help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases.
  • Contains fiber, vitamins (including vitamin C) and minerals, contributing to a healthy immune system and improved digestion.
  • Adds flavor and aroma to dishes without significantly increasing calorie content.

Carrots (per 100g):

  • Calories: 41
  • Protein: 0.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.6g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Vitamin A: 16,706 IU
  • Vitamin C: 5.9mg


  • Excellent source of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which is essential for vision health and immune function.
  • High in dietary fiber, aiding in digestion and promoting feelings of fullness.
  • Contains antioxidants like vitamin C and other phytonutrients, helping to combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

Celery (per 100g):

  • Calories: 16
  • Protein: 0.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Fiber: 1.6g
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Vitamin A: 449 IU
  • Vitamin C: 3.1mg


  • Low in calories and rich in water content, making it a hydrating and refreshing ingredient.
  • Contains vitamins such as vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate, important for bone health, immune function, and cell repair.
  • Provides dietary fiber, promoting healthy digestion and regulating bowel movements.

These values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as cooking methods and specific product brands. Additionally, the nutritional content may change depending on the specific type of smoked ham or pork used in the recipe.


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