Pea soup is an icon of Dutch cuisine.|
Serve this soup along with rye or pumpernickel bread slices, preferably with slices of 'katenspek' [lightly streaked pork, first boiled and then smoked black].
As with all traditional recipes, Dutch pea soup is made in many different ways.
It is an ideal soup to make in large quantities for big gatherings, or to put in a freezer in portions for one or two persons.
It must be very thick: a spoon should be able to remain upright in the middle of the pan; to reach the preferred thickness you must prepare the soup one day in advance and reheat it very carefully before serving.
The microwave oven is ideal for reheating one or two portions, but if you want to reheat a whole pan of soup you can either place it in a moderate heated oven and stir occasionally, or on the stove over really low heat, again stirring occasionally.
If the heat is too strong you will get a thick black cake on the bottom of the pan.
*The sausage which is traditionally added to the soup is 'Gelderse rookworst', a smoked pork sausage from which the ends are tied together, originally from the province Gelderland in The Netherlands; any smoked pork sausage or Frankfurters can also be used.
- 17 1/2 ounces [500 g] split peas
- 8 cups [2 L] and more water
- 1 piece of about 17 1/2 ounces [500 g] meaty smoked ham with bone, pork hock or spareribs, or 2 pig's trotters
- 3 1/2 ounces [100 g] streaky bacon or Dutch 'sauerkraut bacon' [streaky pork, salted but not smoked, preferrably with rind]
- 1 celeriac
- 2 potatoes
- 1 large carrot
- 2 large onions
- 2 leeks
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 smoked sausage*
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Into a sieve, rinse split peas under cold running water [they do not have to be saoked overnight].
- Bring 8 cups [2 L] water to a boil along with split peas, meaty smoked ham with bone, pork hock, spareribs or pig's trotters and bacon.
- Leave to boil skimming off floating scum every once in a while, until done.
- Drain, rinse again and transfer split peas and smoked ham, pork hock spareribs or pig's trotters into a large casserole.
- Cover with cold water and bring to a boil; lower heat and leave to simmer slowly until meat is done.
- Meanwhile, peel and dice celeriac, potatoes and carrot; peel and grossly chop onions.
- Slice then well-rinse leek slices.
- Add vegetables to casserole and leave to simmer until split peas are done for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until split peas are broken.
- Remove meat from casserole; remove rind and bones then finely dice meat before adding meat back to soup.
- Rinse then chop celery, with or without the leaves.
- Twenty  minutes before the end of cooking time, add chopped celery and whole smoked sausage to the soup.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- The pea soup should still be fairly liquid.
- Leave to cool completely, refrigerate soup and reheat it the next day, or freeze [see note] soup into servings.