There is a sweet and funny family story that inspired me to make my own version of Erwtensoep or Dutch Pea Soup. If you are lucky enough to know my partner Wouter, a Dutch man who tells a good story, you may also have heard the tale of him and his late Mother Elizabeth’s restaurant meal concerning “This is NOT Erwtensoep!”
Now, according to Elizabeth real Dutch Pea Soup has no potatoes even though you can order it many places in The Netherlands with this addition. Her firm belief in the absence of potatoes…a long-suffering Waiter, and Wouter…as well as a bowl of pea soup led to a bit of hilarity that only exists in the retelling. I leave it at that.
After much research and discussions with Wouter about Dutch Pea Soup, combined with my fondness for all things “peas and potatoes”, I made this cross-culinary version using Southern USA country ham hocks, split green peas and baby Yukon gold potatoes. It is a most delicious soup. Although Elizabeth is no longer with us and she might possibly declare “This is NOT Erwtensoep” I do believe even she would find it tasty. Bon Appetit and Laten We Eten!
These little salt and pepper ducks that I bought in Budapest last summer look right at home in this multi-culinary setting. A Dutch Pea Soup made with Southern USA Ham Hocks and seasoned with Salt and Pepper from Hungarian Ducks!
A photo of shelves and shelves of cans of Ertwensoep I took on our last trip to Amsterdam while grocery shopping.
Erwtensoep - Dutch Pea Soup
- 1 1/2 cups dried split peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 small onion chopped
- 4 cups low-fat chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1/4 lb piece of lean ham hock or a country ham slice if you cannot find hock
- 6-8 baby Yukon gold potatoes, cut into chunks
- Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
- Put split peas, broth, onion and about 2 cups of water in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn to simmer and add the ham hock or country ham.
- Cook for 20 minutes and then add the potatoes. Simmer another 20 minutes or just until split peas and potatoes are softened. Add more broth or water if need be.
- Remove the ham hock and shred the lean meat and add back to the soup. Season with freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. Serve hot.
Teresa Blackburn www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com www.foodonfifth.com