What You Should Know About Erwtensoep:
Erwtensoep (err-tuhn-soop) is a pea soup that may also be called snert. It is a winter dish in the Netherlands - the thick soup with hearty winter vegetables are a great way to warm up - and it is prepared differently than Scandinavian, German, or English/American versions of pea soup. Depending on the recipe, only a few vegetables are used, but all tend to call for long-lasting winter vegetables, such as onions or carrots. It's excellent served along with a crusty bread and followed up by something sweet for dessert.
The Life in Dutch Recipe:
500 g/1 lb mix of chopped vegetables: leek (prei), onion (ui), carrot (wortel), and celery (selderie) - I cheated and purchased a pre-cut, pre-mixed bag at the supermarket.
2 medium potatoes (aardappelen) chopped
250 g/2.5-ish cups dried split peas (spliterwten)
1.5 L beef stock
1 smoked sausage (rookworst) sliced into discs- specifically, a rookworst is used, but will be difficult to find elsewhere
250 g/0.5 lb shoulder ham (schouderham)
2 bay leaves (laurierbladen)
The Life in Dutch Method:
I've got to be honest off the bat, here. I did not bring my A game when preparing this meal. I didn't even bring my B game. I missed a rather important step, and Little Man was still adjusting to being in school full time, so the process did not go as well as it could have. And, I cheated and used a pre-bagged bunch of veggies to shorten my prep time.
But, even considering that, it came out flavorful and edible, and that's what really counts in the end.
First, allow the split peas to simmer in the beef stock for about an hour. (I didn't do this, mine cooked for 20 minutes, which required some extra "wait time" at the end when everything else was already cooked.)
Add your potatoes and and bay leaves and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add your vegetables and shoulder ham and cook through (approx. 10-15 minutes). (I had a brain cramp at the store and forgot to buy shoulder ham, but the soup was still tasty without it.) Your soup should start to thicken.
|I accidentally added everything but the rookworst at the same time, |
so my simmering method changed as I went along.
Add your rookworst to the soup, and allow to warm through.
|How you can find your rookworst.|
Serve with crusty bread.
|Soup! I know the orange bowl isn't too flattering to the soup here, |
but that's the best I can do as far as presentation...
The process here is mostly simple, but you do still need to pay attention in case you forget to cook the peas correctly. The dish is a perfect cold-weather food that can be eaten right away, or frozen and stored for later.