We have a few traditional winter dishes in the Netherlands: Kale stew, Sauerkraut stew, Carrots/Onions stew and Green pea soup. They all are prepared with pieces of crispy bacon and a smoked sausage. Clearly not very vegan! Non-vegan Dutchies are convinced that these dishes need the flavour of the bacon and the smoked sausage. I took on the challenge to prepare them without animal proteins and prove that they still are delicious, full of smokey flavour!
Today I prepared the Green pea soup, which is called Snert in Dutch. A soup that is served along the iceskating tracks to warm up (when winters are like they should be..), that is served as lunch or even for dinner with a loaf of onion bread for instance.
It takes only a few ingredients to prepare this filling soup.
Apart from the green peas obviously, it takes a chunk of celeriac, a few potatoes, half a winter carrot (I am not sure if that is a common vegetable outside of the Netherlands… but it is a large thick carrot, just so you know.) I also use a pinch of chili flakes to spice it up a little and to get that necessary smokey flavour I add a full teaspoon of smoked paprika powder. Other than that a pinch of salt, black pepper to taste, two teaspoons of unsalted vegetable stock powder. At the very end when the soup is done and blended I add a few drops of liquid smoke. The essential final touch!
Preparation is as simple as it can get!
Peel the vegetables. Cut the potatoes, celeriac and the carrot into littlle cubes and fry them in vegetable oil by choice in a large pot. When the vegetables start to color slightly, add the rinsed peas (I used approx.350 grams), stir well and add the vegetable stock powder and approx. 2 liters of fresh water. Bring to boil and let cook for 45 minutes or more until the vegetables and peas are soft. (I used a pressure cooker, so it took me 30 minutes) When done take of heat, add the smoked paprika powder and chili-flakes and blend. The soup is supposed to be a bit thick in texture, so you can add some tapioca starch mixture (or another plantbased starch) to achieve that. At the very end mix in the drops of liquid smoke and stir well.
If you insist on having some smokey “meaty’ pieces in your soup, like tradition has it, you might want to add smoked tofu stripes.
So that’s it, soup is ready! Now all we need is a bit of old-fashioned winter and put our skates on…..