Thursday, January 3, 2013

Erwtensoep...aka SNERT

In the beginning of December, my hubby traveled to Amsterdam on business.  One of the first things I always ask him when he returns from a trip is, "What did you have to eat?" :) I am always intrigued by food and hubby always has the best descriptions of unique entres that he eats while traveling. He often times will even take pictures to share with me. His favorite dish that he couldn't stop talking about during this trip was called SNERT. Not the most attractive name for a dish and once he told me it was a pea soup loaded with lots of meat, I shrugged my nose a bit and didn't think it sounded too appetizing.  

The name alone (Snert) made me want to look it up and do some research. Then when hubby said I should try to make this dish, I accepted the challenge. :)  Turns out Snert is a nickname for the traditional Dutch pea soup called Erwtensoep. It is a thick stew of green split peas, different cuts of pork, stalk celery, onions, leeks, carrots, and often potato. The soup is customarily served with rye bread and bacon, cheese, or butter. 

Tonight was my attempt at making Snert. My expectations were low but the outcome was AMAZING!!! I love snert. It was full of veggies (which I love) and loaded with meat (which makes hubby happy)! Full of flavor, it was the perfect dinner for a cold winter night. I can't wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow. 

Now I dare you to try snert. Come on, you'll like it!

Source: Instructables

2 c. dried green split peas
7 c. cold water
2 bone-in pork chops
10 slices thick-cut bacon
3 bay leaves
3 whole cloves
1 beef cube
3 carrots
2-3 potatoes
2-3 leeks
2-3 celery sticks
1 small onion
Kielbasa smoked sausage 
Salt to taste

Put peas in pan along with the water, pork chops and chopped up bacon and some bay leaves, cloves and a beef cube. Bring it to a low boil. Just eyeball the water. If it gets too thick too soon, just add some more water.

After a couple of minutes it will start to foam. Remove foam with a slotted spoon.

Peel the potatoes and cut into big chunks. Do the same with the onion, the carrots, the celery and the leeks. Add everything to the pan and bring it to a nice slow boil. Cover with lid and let simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. You'll know when it's near to done when the veggies start to dissolve and the peas are starting to bind the liquid.

Once it's close to being done, take the pork chop out of the pan, and shred the meat. Remove any bones. Cut up the kielbasa in chunks and add it to the pot, along with the shredded pork. Continue to simmer until soup has thickened considerably. Serve and enjoy! Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.