One of the most enjoyable aspects of blogging is the analytics. Sure, the days with low traffic are no picnic, but looking through the data can yield fascinating insights. Like the fact that somehow a small pocket of people in the Netherlands really like my blog. You would think that my Canadian relatives would be responsible for the large majority of my non-US site visits, but nope, not them. Apparently in the Netherlands they dig fried BLTs…or see the humor in Tim Ferriss…or have a sick and twisted desire to read about a mother feeding her unsuspecting children radishes.
So hats off to my Dutch peeps. Goedemorgen! Ik spreak een kline betje Netherlands.
Actually, I just swiped that phrase from the Internet, but I promise to learn a little bit more of the language to keep you coming back for more good times. Because, truthfully, I’m worried that someday I may offend your Northern European sensibilities with some little-known facts. A few for consideration:
1. I’m only 5’2”, so much smaller than my husband that he fondly refers to me as his “pocket wife”. However, do not let my small stature turn you off. I enjoy the company of large people! I married a man who is 6’6” and who gave me three giant children, one of whom is a 20-month old blonde baby girl who wears a size 8 shoe. You would love her, she would mix seamlessly with the other children in your Dutch playgrounds.
2. The only Dutch food I’ve eaten in the US was at the restaurant “The Dutch” in NYC, which is in fact, not Dutch at all.
3. I don’t root for your speed skaters in the Winter Olympics because they win everything and let’s give the other countries a chance for crying out loud.
Good, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I feel better, don’t you?
Hopefully you’re not feeling angry, shocked, or completely let down. Like when you heard the truth about Lance Armstrong, but worse. If you do feel that way, I have the perfect antidote.
Yes, yes, yes! I’ve made it for you, Dutch friends. I took some culinary liberties with the traditional recipe, aiming not for a soup so thick you can stand a spoon in it, but a thinner, lighter version that’s more suitable for spring. If anything that has this much meat in it can be considered light. But it does have some secret ingredients like buttermilk and pea shoots. Absolutely delicious.
I do love a good pea soup and when you add sausage to the mix, heaven. You guys are geniuses over there. If you have more Dutch recipes to share, feel free to send them my way. I have a few giant children to feed after all.
- • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- • 1/2 lb smoked bacon, preferably in one thick slice, diced
- • 2 large leeks, washed and chopped
- • 3 cups of chopped celery
- • 2 smoked sausages
- • 2 16-oz bags of frozen peas, thawed
- • 2 cups chicken stock
- • ½ cup buttermilk, shaken
- • salt and pepper
- • 1 small bunch of fresh pea shoots
- In a large Dutch(!) oven, add the olive oil and heat on medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Add the bacon and sautee until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain, and reserve.
- Drain the oil from the pot, leaving 3 tablespoons.
- Add the chopped leeks and celery, and sautee with salt and pepper until they’ve softened, about 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, while the vegetables are cooking, heat a small pan on medium-high heat and add the sausages. Cook until done, remove from pan, slice, and reserve.
- When the vegetables in the Dutch oven are soft, add the peas and stock, and bring to a simmer. Cook until peas are warmed through, about 1-2 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup.
- Add the buttermilk, and heat to a gentle simmer.
- Add back the reserved bacon to the soup.
- To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls. Top each bowl with some sliced sausage and the pea shoots.