“This IS Erwtensoep!” – Dutch Pea Soup via Nashville

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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!”

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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!

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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!

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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

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dried split peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 cups low-fat chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • water
  • 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

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

 

“A Simple Snow Day Soup to Melt the Ice & Warm Your Heart”

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This is for all you Mid-Westerners out there…those of you who have to get up in the dark to feed your livestock, milk the cows, feed the hens…every harsh winter day. This winter has been especially cold & snowy for one of my favorite bloggers, Cecillia, at thekitchengarden. She just writes the best stories about her “farmy” in Illinois. Go by for a visit….she is my warm, cozy, lentil soup inspiration.

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It is a simple enough soup that I conjured up on the one & only real “snow day” experienced this winter here at Fifth Avenue North. I, of course, loved every flake that fell, lightly covering the sidewalks & streets. There is something so beautiful about walking in the dark as snow flakes fall under city streetlights. I did not have to care for any sheep, cows or piggies. I just walked the dog leisurely and wandered aimlessly…heading home when I got too cold to enjoy a bowl of “Snow Soup”.

Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 cup chopped onions, 2 cloves garlic smashed, 2 carrots sliced, 1 (28 oz/two 14 oz) cans Fire-Roasted Tomatoes with juice, 4 cups low-fat chicken broth, 1 cup dried sprouted lentils, a generous handful of baby spinach leaves or chopped kale, kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

(All items I had in my pantry, we do not drive to the store on our “snowy day” here in Nashville, TN!)

        Carrots & onions in olive oilFire-roasted Tomatoeschicken broth

1. Saute onions in olive oil until slightly softened. Add smashed garlic cloves & cook 1 minute.  Toss in carrots & stir. Add can(s) of fire-roasted tomatoes & chicken broth. Bring to a low boil.

Sprouted Lentils

2. Stir in lentils. Cook on simmer for a 30 minutes, stirring every so often just until lentils are softened. (Add more broth or water if soup gets too thick for your taste.)

Lentils                    stir soupspinach

3. Toss in the spinach or kale & cook just until greens are wilted. Serve hot with “Parmesan Cornbread Croutons” (recipe to follow)

Snow soup with croutons

“Parmesan-Cornbread Croutons”

Ingredients: 2 cups self rising yellow cornmeal, 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup buttermilk or whole milk, 1 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a flat baking pan. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, spread in prepared pan, sprinkle with shredded Parm & bake until golden brown & puffy, about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven to cool on a rack. When cool, cut into croutons to top off your soup.

                      ingredients for cornbread croutonsParmesan Cornbread Croutons

Parmesan Cornbread CroutonsOutside there were no blizzards, nor banks of snow, no waiting animals or chores to be done. I sat quietly, eating my Snow Soup, looking out my window sending warm thoughts to all the folks on all the “farmys” in the Mid-West this night.

Stay warm, Spring is near.