Although I grew up in South Africa, my upbringing was Dutch because we are originally from the Netherlands. One great meal my mom often made – especially on a cold day – was Erwtensoep or snert, which is the Dutch version of Pea Soup. It is a thick stew of green split peas, some vegetables and slices of rookworst (Dutch smoked sausage) are added a few minutes before serving it with thick bread, preferably rye bread. I would say this substantial meal, traditionally eaten during the winter is symbolic of Dutch cuisine.
So the other day I was paging through a Rachel Allen recipe book I got for my birthday and low and behold there was a take on the pea soup. I suppose it is not so surprising because after all there are so many takes on pea soup! This one is lighter and is made from frozen peas. You cannot compare it to the Dutch original and I am not trying to do it, but to make a quick (she says five minutes) soup for an emergency starter or quick lunch – golden opportunity!
So here is the recipe:
500ml vegetable/chicken stock
200 g frozen peas
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely grated
2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100 ml single or regular cream
3 tsp chopped tarragon (I couldn’t find the fresh one, so I used the dried herb)
– Put the stock, frozen peas, garlic and spring onions into a large saucepan on a high heat, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
– Add the cream and tarragon and liquidize in a blender or using a hand-held blender. Pour the soup into the saucepan and heat through on the hob. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with crusty bread.
I have made it into a full meal by adding more peas to make it thicker as well as crispy bacon and grated cheese. And I suppose croutons might work as well! It is delicious.