DUTCH PEA SOUP (Erwtensoep)

 DUTCH PEA SOUP (Erwtensoep)

500 grams (1.1 lb) green split peas
1 liter (34 fl oz) water
1 carrot, peeled
1 small potato, peeled
2 ribs celery
1 small onion
1 bay leaf
1 small smoked ham hock, ham bone or sausage
Salt and pepper

1.Rinse and wash the split peas, and add them with the water to a pot. Chop the vegetables and add them to the water and add the bay leaf. Add the smoked meat.

2.Bring to a boil and simmer for about 40 minutes. When the peas are soft, remove the bay leaf and either puree or just stir the soup several times, the peas will dissolve and give it a creamy consistence. Cut the meat off the bone, or slice the sausage and stir it back in the soup. Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper if needed.

3.Serve with a slice of buttered dark rye bread. This soup is best served the next day, when the flavors all have a chance to blend. Do reheat carefully, as the soup thickens overnight and can scorch easily. Thin with a little bit of warm water if needed enjoy.