Dutch erwtensoep - split peas soup


DIY erwtensoup:
400 grams dried peas, in halves
200 - 300 grams pork or beef neck
100 gram lean bacon
2 good quality lean sausages
1 bay leaf
500 grams celeriac root
2 leeks, cut into rings (white parts)
parsley, finely cut
salt, pepper


First, pour 1,5 litre of water into a big pot. Add one table spoon of salt, peas, neck and a squashed bay leaf. Bring to boil, stir from time to time and leave for around 20 minutes to simmer. Now is a good time to prepare leeks and celeriac root, or if we have already dome that to do whatever we feel like (well, maybe with exception of activities like kite surfing or hiking in Himalayas, as 20 minutes is definitely not enough). Then, add celeriac root cut into cubes, leek into rings and 3/4 of parsley. Add sausages and bacon and simmer for the next 20 minutes till the vegetables are soft. Stir regularly, then peas will dissolve into the soup and make it thicker. Take out the pork or beef neck and sausage, cut into pieces and put into soup plates. Pour the soup over the meat. Have a good apetite!



Why a legendary soup? - somebody would ask.

The answer is more than obvious - there exist many legends concerning this soup. First legend says that it is the best soup in the whole world. Second legend states that this soup is known only in The Netherlands (how come, it is supposed to be the tastiest in the world then?). According to legend number three, no other nation cooks pea soup.... yeah.

Let us start at the beginnning, in this case in October. At that time, this luxurious dish, imaginative cuisine, superb dinner starter...or whatever, starts to appear everywhere: in pubs, cafe's, restaurants, shopping centres, streets, canals, homes, lunch breaks, parties, supermarkets..... Wherever you set you eye or put yoour leg, you have to be carefull not to fall into a steaming soup pot. And not to impale yourself on a spoon, as the tradition says, theis soup should be so thick so the spoon could stand upright (no superglue allowed!).
If, however, one does not feel like cooking, he soup is also available in a supermarket as a DIY - Erwtensoup kit to do at home.

Let say, one chooses to eat out and all the DIY kits stay at home or supermarket's shelve. When one orders 'the soup of the day' at a restaurant between October and the end of winter, one does not have to ponder endlessly upon what soup is the best choice, as there is only one choice - erwtensoup. What a save of time! And a dose of self - confidence for the usually indecisive ones.

The soup of the day, imperceptibly changes into the soup of a half a year, presenting the cook with less work, as erwtensoup cooked in a big pot and eaten for several days in a row tastes best (or so roumor has it).

What is interesting, is the fact that in 1971, where the Dutch were queuing in the first Mac Donald restaurant, they were not there for Big Macs, Happy Meals or chips. They were there to order the erwtensoup. Sad as it is, the soup did not win the match with burgers and eventually dissapeared from the menu.


Monday, February 25, 2013 - 7:20am

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