The perfect antidote to cold, wet and miserable days is this hearty Dutch pea soup – curl up big a big steaming bowl in front of the telly and your stressful day at work and miserable commute will soon be forgotten.
This traditional ‘erwten soep’ should be eaten so thick that you can stand a spoon upright in it!
My grandmother used to make this Dutch soup when I was little, and every time I make it it’s so comforting and it fills me with nostalgia! In Holland it’s called erwten soep or ‘snert’, and it’s basically a ham and pea soup, using split peas, pork chops, bacon and smoked sausage. The best (and only) way to cook it is over a couple of hours, so all the flavours of the vegetables and ham are absorbed.
Make a big batch and keep some in the freezer – you’ll thank yourself later!
You will need:
- 300 grams dried green split peas
- 1 pork chop (150 grams)
- 100 grams streaky bacon
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 3 – 4 carrots, chopped
- 1 celeriac / rooted celery
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 1 potato, peeled and cubed
- 2 stock cubes mixed with 1.25 litres water
- 1 handful of bay leaves
- 2 smoked sausages, sliced (save some to serve!)
- bread (to serve)
1. Start by gently frying the onion and bacon in a deep saucepan, then add the stock (2 stock cubes mixed with 1.25 litres water), the pork chop, split peas and bay leaves.
2. Bring it to the boil, skim off any froth from the top, then leave to simmer for 45 minutes. Keep stirring every now and then to stop the peas sticking to the bottom and burning!
3. Remove the bay leaves and the pork chop, take out the bone and thinly slice the meat, then throw the meat back in the pan (and throw the bone and excess fat away). Add in the smoked sausage (just 1 and a half, leaving enough for later). Add the chopped onion, leeks, carrots, celeriac and potato, and leave to cook in the pan for another 30 minutes.
4. Serve with some bacon or smoked sausage on top, and with bread for dunking!