Dutch Pea Soup - The national soup of Holland
During wintertime, nearly every restaurant, bar or café advertises its own special pea soup. When the canals are frozen, ice skaters often stop at small stalls along the way during their long trips to eat pea soup for sustenance. Dutch pea soup is a meal in itself, full of fresh winter vegetables and chunks of bacon and sausage. A simple accompaniment of a few slices of dark rye bread is enough. There are probably as many different ways of making Dutch pea soup as there are people in Holland. For the best result, make the soup the day before required to improve its flavor.
- 1½ cups green split peas
- 3 quarts water
- 1 pound pork shoulder/boiling bacon
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 3 leeks, thinly sliced or
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 3 medium-size potatoes, peeled and cubed
- leafy tops from 1 bunch of celery
- ½ pound fat ham or
- 1 large smoked sausage or
- ½ pound frankfurters, sliced
- Slices of pumpernickel/dark rye bread
Soak the peas in water in a covered pan overnight. Drain the peas and place them in a large pan with the water, pork and salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer slowly for 3 hours. Add leeks, celery, potatoes and celery tops and simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sausage or frankfurters and simmer for 10 minutes more. Discard the bones. Remove the ham, sausage or frankfurter and slice them before replacing in the soup or serving on the buttered pumpernickel bread.
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