Peasant’s delight: A hearty Russian pea soup with cabbage (RECIPE)

What will happen if you add cabbage to your pea soup?

What will happen if you add cabbage to your pea soup?

Olga Brovkina
Explore the subtle and delectable taste of Russian peasant cuisine with the thick and rich gorokhovitsa soup. 

In the olden days, pea soup was a beloved dish among Russian peasants, and it was prepared with various ingredients to enhance the flavor. From sauerkraut and fresh cabbage to dried mushrooms, oatmeal, buckwheat, and even fresh tomatoes, each fresh ingredient added an unique flavor to the pot.

One of the most traditional ingredients in gorokhovitsa, or goroshnitsa, is cabbage. As you probably already know, it’s impossible to imagine Russian cuisine without the cabbage soup known as schi. And in gorokhovitsa, you can enjoy both cabbage and peas in one dish.

The name of this soup comes from the Russian word gorokh, which means ‘pea’ in English. Each year on May 9th, peasants commemorated the Christian Orthodox martyr and saint Glafira of Amasia, and called the day “Glafira Goroshnitsa”. On this day the peasants would plant peas in their fields. Before sowing the seeds, however, people gathered together and recited Orthodox prayers, asking God for a bountiful harvest. 

On this day it was also customary among the peasants to cook dishes made from peas that had been left over from the previous harvest. As the day came to a close, the local village community gathered together for a festive meal. Naturally, the main dishes on hand were centered around peas: boiled meat with peas, pea porridge, pea pies and pea soups. 

So, today I suggest we assemble all the necessary ingredients and savor each spoonful of gorokhovitsa. I'll make a light vegetable soup, but if you want, it’s possible to add dried mushrooms or chicken.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • Split peas - 200 g
  • Potatoes - 3 pcs
  • Cabbage - 200 g
  • Onion - 1 pc
  • Carrot - 1 pc
  • Spices and seasoning - 1tsp
  • Salt and pepper - to taste


1. Rinse the split peas thoroughly and soak in cold water for an hour. Meanwhile, wash and peel the vegetables.

2. Cut the potatoes into cubes.

3. In a large pot of boiling water, add the peas. Remove any foam that rises to the surface once the water starts boiling a second time.

4. After 7-10 minutes, add the diced potatoes.

5. After 10 more minutes, add the cabbage to the pot.

6. Grate the carrot and finely chop the onion.

7. Fry it all in a skillet with oil until it softens; then add to the soup.

8. Season the soup with salt, pepper, and spices according to your taste and preferences. Allow the soup to simmer gently until the split peas, potatoes, and cabbage are tender and the flavors have fully melded together. This entire process usually takes about 20 minutes.

9. Once the soup reaches the desired consistency and its flavors have fully developed, remove it from the heat. Serve your gorokhovitsa soup hot, and garnish with fresh herbs if desired. Enjoy!

READ MORE: 7 vintage Russian pea dishes every vegetarian should know

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