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Erwtensoep (my turn!)

Printed From: Foods of the World Forum
Category: Europe
Forum Name: The Low Countries
Forum Discription: Belgium and the Netherlands.
Printed Date: 03 August 2020 at 05:59

Topic: Erwtensoep (my turn!)
Posted By: pitrow
Subject: Erwtensoep (my turn!)
Date Posted: 24 October 2011 at 11:36
Well today is my Oma's (Grandmother's) 85th birthday, and yesterday we had a birthday party for her. One of her (and my) favorite soups is Erwtensoep, so I made up a batch of it. It takes a while to make, and it's really better the second day anyway, so I started this Saturday afternoon.

Anyway, before I get started on that, here's a little bit of history for the interested. Way back in the day in Holland, high-schools were more like trade schools and they had different high schools depending on what trade you wanted to go to. As most girls did back then, my Oma when to Huishoudschool, which roughly translates to household-school. It was basically a huge "Home Economics" school. When she graduated she was given a cookbook that has tons of recipes and tips for "domestic science". Here is that book...">">
I have no idea how old exactly this book is, since they didn't put publishing dates in them back then, but the foreword is dated 1910. This is the 11th printing, and I'm guessing if it was new when she graduated it's probably from the late 1930s. Lots and lots of old time recipes in here.

Here is the recipe for Ewrtensoep">

My Dutch skills are sorely lacking, but here's my rough translation of it.
2 pigs feet
500 g fresh sausage, or 50 g butter or margarine
750 g green peas
4 L water
30 g salt
4 leeks
1 bunch celery greens
1 small celery root
2 potatoes

Wash the peas, soak them overnight in water and cook gently the next day in the same water until tender (+ / - 2 hours). Pour them through a horsehair sieve and rub the peas, until the skins come off. Boil the washed pigs feet in this water for one hour. Add the sausage and boil half an hour (it is then removed and added back the warm soup at the end).

Then add the cleaned, chopped and well washed vegetables and potatoes together and cook, occasionally stirring. Gently cook until the soup is thick and the meat of the feet is released. Fill the soup from time to time with some water. Serve with rye bread with. Consider this soup as a lunch main course and follow with dessert only.

Now, that is NOT the recipe I use, however I do use my Oma's recipe that she modified over time until she settled on this one.

Trim fat off fresh hamhock or pork shoulder.
Simmer in 2 1/4 quart water for 3 hrs
Cut up 1 bunch of celery (with all greens) and celery root and 2 potatoes (cubes)
Add to liquid
Add 1 lb split peas
Cook until veggies are tender and peas fall apart
If soup is too thin, grate potato to thicken and cook until done
Add meat and 2 bouillon cubes

So... here we go. I could only find smoked hamhocks, so I used those, along with pork shoulder blade steaks. I only used 3 of the hocks, and 1 of the steaks.">">

In the pot coming up to boil.">

Boiled for three hours, then removed the meat and deboned the steak, cut out the extra fat and cut the meat into cubes and added them back to the pot. The hocks I didn't really feel like digging into too much so I pulled just a little of the easiest to get meat out and put that in the pot, then discarded the rest of the hocks. Besides most of what I want was already boiled out and that was the collagen to help thicken it later.

[new stuff starts here]
Here's the hocks and shoulder out of the boil, cooling a bit so I can work with them">

Celery root before peeling">

Celery root after peeling">

Chopped up celery root and potato">

One chopped up celery">

And a bowl of rinsed and drained split peas">

All of these went into the pot and boiled for about an hour">

[new stuff ends here]

Then I mashed it up roughly with a potato masher. Seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. When they say this is a thick soup, they're absolutely right, you can stand a spoon in it.">

Mmmmm. yum.

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 24 October 2011 at 12:02
beautiful, mike! i love the family history and the lesson in dutch society back then - very good stuff! it looks like your oma adapted a great method for this ~ and i really like the "standing spoon" pic at the end! mine didn't get quite that thick, but it was close!
outstanding post all-around and i really like your take on it. this another example of what this site is all about, sharing family histories with food from all over the world, as well as excellent techniques for great cooking. thanks a million for the post!

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Posted By: pitrow
Date Posted: 31 October 2011 at 08:19
Somehow the pictures that my camera wouldn't recognize when I did this originally started working again, so I updated the post with those.

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 31 October 2011 at 08:32
very nice, mike ~ i like the look of that celery root true, honest peasant eating there ~ and will have to lobby our local grocery to start carrying it again!

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Posted By: pitrow
Date Posted: 26 October 2015 at 11:25
I made this again over the weekend. Saturday would have been Oma's 89th birthday, but alas we lost her this past June.  Anyway we all got together at Mom's house anyway and I made a big double-batch of this and it went over great as usual. I couldn't find any ham hocks at the store so I substituted some smoked pork neck and I'd say it actually turned out better. The neck meat was a lot nicer than the hocks.

Anyway, I wouldn't even bring this up except for this little tidbit. It's funny how our perception of things are. I always assumed that Oma liked this soup because she made it all the time, however I found out Saturday that she actually hated it. Well at least hated making it. Turns out it was her husband, my Opa, that really liked it and whenever we'd go camping he'd always request that Oma make this. So she'd spend hours in a hot, cramped trailer over a pot of boiling water, a lot of times in 90+ degree weather, before AC in camp trailers was even a thing. So she ended up hating this soup, but it seems to me at any gathering we ever had at her house there was always a big pot of this present. Anyway, I just thought I'd share with you all.

Mike" rel="nofollow - Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 02 November 2015 at 19:49
That's kind of funny, Mike - I've had similar family experiences now and then. I've held onto a childhood memory with what seemed like great significance, only to find out that the truth (or perhaps the viewpoint of the person involved) was something completely different. Ah, well - such is life!

I'm thinking with the weather turning, it might be good to make this again - and soon!

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