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Release date: 12/28/2004.
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Aan de oever van de Nete
heb ik erwtensoep gegeten.
Wat mij danig heeft gespeten.
want ik liet heel vieze windjes.

At the bank of the Nete (small river in Belgium)
I had pea soup.
But I regretted it for days
because of the consequences.
--translated by good friend W.H. van der Molen

PLEASE NOTE: a more literal translation (kindly provided by Bruce Barbour of Ipswich) would actually include "release smelly farts"

The thickness of this soup recalls a Readers' Digest survey on kids' favorite sandwiches. Peanut Butter & Jelly won hands down, but then there was the kid who said his favorite sandwich was his mother's pea soup...after it congealed in the refrigerator, he'd spread it on bread.


(Dutch pea soup)

This national Dutch glory--also called snert--is prepared differently in every household--and traditionally it is made a day ahead. Why? To improve the flavor, but also to concentrate it to the preferred thickness; viz., so that a spoon will stand upright in it. This is a time when microwave reheats are ideal--no more burning the bottom of the pan trying to reheat such a thick paste. I like the nutmeg in this recipe--it recalls the time when the Dutch had the Banda Island nutmeg trade sewn up in a monopoly. It's traditional to serve the soup with slabs of bacon on pumpernickel bread. Serve hot to 4-6 people as a hearty meal. Click HERE for more on Dutch cuisine and dining in Amsterdam at

Parboil the pig's foot for 5 minutes, then drain, discarding liquid. Bring the water to a boil in a large heavy pot, then add the peas, pig's foot, and ham hock. When the water reboils, reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook, partially covered, for 2 hours. Stir it from time to time.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients (except the kielbasa) and simmer for 30 more minutes, stirring from time to time. Remove the pig's foot and ham hock, cut away the meat, and return it to the pot with the sliced kielbasa. Simmer for 10 minutes or so.

When ready to serve, reheat and ladle into bowls, with lots of thick bacon and bread on the side.

A Souptale from Tomás Gonzales:
As a soup mavin, I would like to share with you a family story. A story about my mother's half of the family. Although I am a "Gonzales", I am actually half Dutch and half Mexican. My maternal great grandparents emigrated to the United States from Holland early in the last century. My father, whose parents were born in Mexico, migrated north in search of "greener pastures" than he had known in southern Texas and when he met my mother settled down among her family. All this is to explain why I am qualified to tell you about a combination of "Dutch humor" and soup.

Dutch humor has a scatological side to it. My grandmother was fond of such sayings as, "Someone who cooks carrots and peas (pees) in the same pot is unsanitary." This aside, pea soup was always a favorite. No ham bone was ever discarded before it had served to enrich a pot of "snet" (as pea soup was always referred to by it's Dutch name).

When my great grandmother passed away, my mother found among her household items some rather elegant, old chamber pots from the days when indoor plumbing was still something of a novelty. Or, as my grandmother said, "When beds had both a canopy over them and a can o' pee under them." My mother thought that the old, covered commodes could yet be of some use.

It was not long thereafter, at a large family gathering for Sunday dinner, that my mother paraded into the dining room with a beautiful, lidded tureen containing the soup du jour. When she lifted the lid. there was not just everyday pea soup, but snet with pieces of sausage floating in it! The soup was delicious, but the old timers who were privy to the joke certainly also got a taste of their own medicine that day.

And so a family tradition in serving soup was born.